One of the most difficult topics to negotiate in a New York divorce case is property division. If you are like many other people who are going through a divorce, you may find the idea of separating all positions you received throughout your marriage a little overwhelming.
Before going through the process, it is important that both parties bring all marital property in their possession to the table, according to Brides. Furthermore, it is extremely helpful to understand what constitutes marital property so you can be sure to get everything you deserve in the final settlement.
Identifying marital property
While you may think of the family home, vehicle and bank account contents as marital property, there is actually quite a bit more. There are many less common items that may get overlooked when it comes time to divide possessions. Marital property also includes the following:
- Lottery ticket winnings and income tax refunds
- Intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrights and patents
- Exclusive memberships to country clubs and golf courses
- 401k policies, term life insurance plans, stocks and money market accounts
- Gifts exchanged between you and your spouse
- Items lent to a third party during the marriage
Any assets or items you and your spouse obtained while married are eligible for division in the final divorce decree.
Identifying separate property
The court does not consider certain items eligible for division in a divorce case. Some property is referred to as separate, and therefore stays with the original owner in the final decree. This often involves gifts given to you by a third-party, inheritance money you received as well as personal injury compensation.
It is important to keep separate property from intermixing with marital property, as it may lose its separate status. Once it becomes mixed in with marital property, separate property may be divided between spouses in the final divorce settlement.