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What is considered separate property in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Property Division

Throughout people’s lives in Long Island, they acquire various property. The property may come in various forms such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, investment accounts, homes, vehicles, collectables, tools, household goods and other forms of property as well. People can acquire the property or parts of the property before marriages, during marriages and after marriages. While the timing of when someone acquired property may not seem like a major issue, it does become an issue if a couple goes through a divorce.

During a divorce couples need to divide the life the shared together into two separate lives. Part of this process includes dividing the property that the couple obtained during the marriage. The property acquired by either spouse during the marriage regardless of whose name is on the account or on the title of the property is considered marital property. This property must be divided equitably in the divorce.

Separate property

Each spouse may also own property that was acquired outside of the marriage as well. This is referred to as separate property. This property includes property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage; gifts or inheritance received by one spouse during the marriage; the portion of a personal injury award that is attributed to pain and suffering and not compensation for lost wages or medical bills; property received during the marriage in exchange for separate property; the increase in value of separate property during the marriage; or property that was kept separate in an antenuptial agreement.

Many people go through divorces each year in Long Island and must divide their marital property. This can be a complicated process depending on the amount and types of assets people own. It can also include needing to trace separate property through accounts that may also contain marital property and may require the use of financial experts. Experienced attorneys understand how property is divided in divorces and may be able to guide one through the process.