What Happens To Nonmarital Property?

Since New York is an equitable distribution state, one of the first things to determine in the division of assets discussions is which of the assets will be considered marital property and which assets will be considered non-marital or separate property. The statute's definition of marital property is broad: all property acquired during the marriage, regardless of how title is held, which is not separate property. The statutory definition of separate property includes property that was acquired before the marriage and property received from a third party by gift or inheritance. Only marital property goes into the common "marital pot" to be equitably distributed between the divorcing spouses.

It is essential to have skilled and trusted counsel when it comes to issues of marital and non-marital property. I have seen a spouse combine bank accounts that contained both marital property and separate property, and transmute very large sums of money into marital assets, which then became available for distribution to the other spouse.

I am New York divorce non-marital property attorney who is experienced with all the issues involved with marital and separate property. I have been providing valuable marital and divorce-related counsel to my clients for more than 35 years, including many high net worth divorces and more than 200 appearances on Court TV. Set up a free consultation by calling me at 212-499-0940 today.

Important Nonmarital Property Considerations

Whether you are starting to think for the first time in your life about getting married, or considering a divorce, you should consider some of the more important aspects of whether property and assets are considered marital property or separate property:

  • Business transactions: A business, like any other ownership interest, will be considered marital property if it is acquired during the marriage. This includes business expansion. For this reason, people considering marriage or divorce should consider whether they want these assets to be marital or separate property before their business acquisition and expansion decisions are implemented.
  • Commingling of funds: The spouse who brings greater assets into a marriage should take care not to inadvertently commingling funds with his or her future spouse.
  • Money agreed to be separate property: Some people consider prenuptial and postnuptial agreements to be contrary to the romantic spirit of two people embarking on a new shared life together. I have also seen many clients regret the decision to forego the prenuptial agreement. Protecting your assets intelligently through a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement is a precaution that I wholeheartedly recommend to all of my clients planning marriage. A well-conceived and drafted prenuptial agreement can be an important way to ensure that your valuable property and assets are preserved and protected.
  • Tax considerations: Especially in the context of high net worth divorces, decisions that you make may have tremendous tax implications. I can alert you when to consult your tax professional.

Do not enter into these decisions without a skilled and experienced attorney providing you counsel.

Contact Me Today

Contact me online or at 212-499-0940 to schedule a free initial consultation with a lawyer.