Some Property Is Safe from Division During Divorce

In a New York divorce, some property isn’t part of the marital estate and thus is not subject to division between the spouses. Understanding what is and isn’t marital property can improve the outcome of your divorce settlement negotiations. 

New York’s domestic relations law distinguishes between marital property and separate property. Separate property belongs to one spouse individually rather than both spouses jointly and is not subject to equitable distribution. Separate property includes: 

  • Property that was acquired before the marriage and was not merged or commingled with marital property after the marriage
  • Property acquired during the marriage from a third party by inheritance or individual gift
  • Personal injury compensation
  • Most assets bought with separate property
  • Property designated as separate in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement 

Appreciation in value of separate property is also separate unless the other spouse contributed to that appreciation. For example, the capital gains on stocks owned separately by one spouse would be separate property, but the appreciation in the value of a business operated by both spouses would be marital property. As seasoned divorce attorneys, Bryan L. Salamone and his associates are prepared to handle these and other property division issues.

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