Since New York is an equitable distribution state, one of the first things in the division of assets discussions is which assets will be considered marital property, and which assets will be considered nonmarital 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 nonmarital 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 divorce and family law attorney Robert G. Smith. From my Robert G. Smith, PLLC, law office in New York City, I have been providing valuable marital and divorce-related counsel to my clients for more than 40 years, including many high net worth divorces.
Important Nonmarital Property Considerations You Should Know About
Here are a few examples 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.
- Commingling of funds: The spouse who brings greater assets into a marriage should take care not to inadvertently commingle funds with his or her future spouse.
- Money agreed to be separate property: 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.
- Tax considerations: Your decisions may have tremendous tax implications. I can alert you when to consult your tax professional.
I welcome the opportunity to represent you for any property division complication during your New York high asset divorce. My decades as a successful divorce lawyer can benefit you, starting today.