Distribution of Professional Licenses

New York treats professional practices, educational degrees and professional licenses obtained during a marriage as marital property subject to equitable distribution. Such licenses include medical, law, CPA and architect licenses. When a court determines the amount that the non-licensed spouse receives, it can award that spouse a sum of money (a distributive award) or give that spouse other marital property equal to the value of his/her share of the license (equitable distribution).

What percentage of the degree/license the non-titled spouse is entitled to, if any, depends on his or her contributions to that degree or license.  Paying for the degree/license and taking care of the children of the marriage while the titled spouse obtained the license are two classic examples of contributions.  New York courts have held that a spouse who contributed in both of these ways may receive as much as 35 percent of the degree or license.

Our team consists of experts who know how to determine a degree or license’s fair market value and assess an enhanced earnings analysis that is extrapolated over the titled spouse’s work life. We are mindful and skilled at considering tax consequences as well as the amount the titleholder’s wages may change over time and how that asset impacts the title spouse’s income for computation of a potential maintenance award.

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