Some couples live their marriages by the axiom, “What’s mine is yours and what’s yours is mine.” While this share-all concept of living may seem like the most accommodating way for two people to merge their lives, it can present some issues for New York couples who choose to end their relationships through divorce.
Particularly, sharing property that begins as the exclusive possessions of one member of the marriage can change the nature of that property from separate to marital. Separate or non-marital property is the sole property of one person and is either acquired by that person before the marriage or during the marriage and in such a way that it is not to be construed as property of both parties.
When non-marital property is merged with marital property or when it is used for marital purposes it can lose its designation as separate property. This means that if the couple decides to divorce that formerly non-marital property may be subject to the couple’s divorce-related property division.
An individual may see his individual wealth drastically impacted if his presumed separate property falls into the category of marital property during his divorce. His spouse may have rights to claim some or all of it through the property settlement process even if the original owner intended to keep that property separate.
The attorneys of Callanen, Foley & Hobika know that dividing property during a divorce can be an emotionally and financially difficult process. Questions regarding marital and non-marital property can complicate the matter further, and the firm’s lawyers can assist their clients with the complex steps of knowing just how to advocate for keeping non-marital property out of the property division process. Separate property can remain separate during a divorce; please visit the firm’s website on martial and non-marital property to learn more about its property division services and divorce services.