What is Considered Marital Property in New York?

By Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C.Family Law Attorney

matrimonial law, divorce lawNew York and New Jersey are equitable distribution states. This means part of final divorce proceedings will be a fair splitting of property. While married parties and their legal representatives will negotiate, the court may decide what is fair based on a series of criteria.

Not surprisingly, these negotiations can be tense. Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman is in the business of keeping a cool head but diligently fighting for its clients. Our goal will be to negotiate a settlement that minimizes the court’s interaction, ensuring at the end of the day our clients have received the best deal possible.

What counts as marital property in NY?

Marital property is considered any property – personal or professional – acquired by either spouse during the union. The court helps establish a compromise between spouses when necessary.

Marital property can include anything: art, a pet, vehicles, savings, retirement accounts and investments, stamp collections, real estate, a business, clothing.

The first thing to determine is what property belongs to the marriage, as opposed to the individual. Property that may not be included can be an asset acquired before the union and, in some instances, property received during the marriage. The latter may include an inheritance, a gift, or a legal award belonging to one of the spouses alone.

Property a spouse may have owned before the marriage, but which increased in value during the marriage, can be included. This may be a business, an investment, or a remodeled vacation home. Again, there can be exceptions. A property received before the marriage that goes up in value due to market conditions as opposed to effort to increase its value during the marriage can potentially be excluded.

For fair distribution of assets, the court will look at:

  • Health and age of spouses
  • Income of spouses
  • Length of marriage
  • Potential alimony
  • Present and future financial needs of each party

If there are minor children (under 18), the court will review the custodial parent’s domestic requirements.

Tackling Marital Property Distribution in New York

Fair distribution of marital property is a complicated matter. KGG knows how to navigate these murky waters. From New York’s Rockland County to New Jersey’s Bergen County, and all points in between, we use our expertise in family law to ensure our clients get what is rightfully theirs.

If you are in need of a divorce lawyer in the Tri-State area, give KGG a call to schedule a consultation.

Additional resources

  1. NYCourts.gov, What’s New in Matrimonial Legislation, Court Rules, and Forms, http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/legislationandcourtrules.shtml
  2. NYCLA.org, Domestic Relations Law §§ 170, 236, 237, 238, https://www.nycla.org/PDF/Domestic%20Relations%20Law%20Sections.pdf
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