If you are getting a divorce in New York, then one concern will be how your property is divided. According to the New York City Bar, marital property is generally divided, but not all property you have is considered marital property. It depends on when and how it was acquired.
Any property that you buy after you are married with funds from an account you and your spouse shared is classified as marital property. This includes any money, investments, personal property and even educational degrees. Typically, anything you purchased before you were married with money that was only yours, inheritances and anything excluded in a prenuptial agreement will not be considered marital property and is personal property.
Determining what is and what is not marital property is essential for property division in a divorce. In most cases, a settlement is worked out where you and your spouse will agree who gets what. If you cannot reach an agreement, though, the court may step in. This is when knowing the ownership of the property is important because the court will use it in its determination.
There are ways that your personal property could become marital property in the eyes of the court. For example, if you owned a house before you married and your spouse moved into it, you made it your home together and made payments on the mortgage with your combined funds, it may be considered marital property by the court. This information is for education only and is not intended as legal advice.