Property subject to marital distribution is not identified by what it is, but rather by how it is owned. Generally, separate property is the property that an individual acquires before he or she is married, that he or she does not comingle with his or her spouse, or property that he or she gets after he or she is married but that he or she acquired with his or her own separate money. A New York couple can own property together if they acquired it during their marriage or if it starts as separate property but use it in support of their marital relationship.
As such, marital property can be practically anything. It can be relatively small items of property, such as jewelry, rugs, artwork or items of technology like computers, televisions and tablets. It can be real property, such as vacation homes, tracts of land or timeshares. It can also be financial devices, like bank accounts, retirement savings, investments and cash in hand.
Because martial property can include such a broad scope of items, it is important for divorcing parties to understand the value of each item before they agree to allow their ex to have it in a property settlement negotiation. While separate property remains in the possession of its sole owner, marital property must is subject to property division processes.
Property can take on different types of value, primarily being actual value and intrinsic value. An item's actual value is the monetary amount of its worth. Its intrinsic value is the value a person places on it based on his personal connection or sentimental attachment to it. Both values are important to consider when deciding how to separate the marital property a couple has acquired during its legal relationship; lawyers who work in the family law field of practice can provide their clients with more important information about how to approach their property division agreements and settlements.