New York Divorce: Marital Property and Separate Property

Divorce in New York

Divorce in New YorkNew York follows the equitable distribution method for property division during divorce. This basically means that the court would allocate marital property between parties in a manner that’s fair or equitable. Consequently, each party would get to keep their separate property.

What is Considered Marital Property?

Marital property is all property that either or both spouses acquired while they were married, regardless of whose name appears on the title, but subject to some specific exceptions. Each party’s income while they were married, all property bought with the income, all property they bought while married (like a vehicle or a house), all retirement benefits each party accrued while married, as well as all these properties’ appreciation during the marriage, is marital property as far as the court is concerned.

What is Considered Separate Property?

As the court won’t divide separate property during a divorce, each party would retain their separate property, with the exception of the extent to which the other party contributed to the increase in the value of that property. In general, divorce attorneys in Long Island list how separate property works:

  • All property either party acquired prior to marrying
  • All property either party individually received as a gift or inheritance, except if it was given by the other party
  • Personal injury damages to either party
  • Any property considered separate property in any valid, written contract such as a prenuptial agreement
  • Any property obtained from the appreciation or proceeds in the separate property’s value, except if the appreciation is partly because of the other party’s contributions or efforts

What About Professional Practice or Business?

A professional practice, business, as well as improved earning capacity that could be attributed to career attainment, educational degree, or professional license is subject to division by the court. The interests in a professional career or business, however, might be tough to divide or disadvantageous for both parties. In cases like this, the court would award the practice or business to the party who’s managing it instead to offset the difference.

These are only some of the things you need to know about marital and separate property. If you’re still confused, many legal professionals are out there to help you.