Those who drafted the equitable distribution statutes adopted in New York and elsewhere wanted to help assure women and children an acceptable level of financial well-being after divorce. Marsha Garrison has shown that divorcing couples rarely possess enough resources to attain financial well-being even when they live together as a couple, let alone when they live in two separate households. She has also shown that, even in the cases of couples with substantial assets, the broad and general language of the equitable distribution statute did not lead (and could not have been expected to lead) to consistent distributions that assured economic well-being for divorcing women. She has shown in short that equitable distribution could never have lived up to the high hopes some people had for it.
Chambers, David L. "Commentary: Meeting the Financial Needs of Children." Brook. L. Rev. 57 (1991): 769-80.