New York State Separate Property Laws
When going through a divorce, you may need to divide assets such as vehicles and personal belongings. However, there are certain items that you are legally allowed to retain. This is known as separate property and, when undergoing the division of assets process, it is important to have a good understanding of New York State separate property laws.
New York State Separate Property Laws | Definition
Separate property is property that accumulated either the start of the marriage or after the beginning of a divorce action. Sometimes separate property is acquired during the course of the marriage but which your spouse has no claim to. For instance, if you receive an inheritance and somebody left the money to you, that money is yours separate and distinct from marital property and you get to keep that on your own. It’s very important that you don’t comingle or you don’t intermix that with marital property because the court could then say that separate property was turned into marital property and you could end up owing your spouse some of your inheritance, which otherwise you would not have to have given them.
New York State Separate Property Laws | Vehicles
Typically, with your car, you’re going to keep your car and your spouse is going to keep their car and you’re each equally going to be responsible for your own expenses. If there is a loan or a lease, you’re going to pay your own car. You’re going to keep your own car. If there is a significant difference between the equity of one car or the other, we’ll take that out and apply it as a credit to the marital property in the other aspects.
New York State Separate Property Laws | Personal Belongings
Typically in a divorce you have many personal items that could be your bed, your dresser, or your clothes. Typically we don’t handle those within the context of a divorce. We would like to see that you and your spouse handle that between you. You can keep your stuff. If it’s your dresser or your clothes, you should be able to keep them and you wouldn’t want to have to pay an attorney to resolve those issues for you. If you brought property into the marriage, you can take that out. That is yours to keep. That’s separate property. If during the course of the marriage, if someone gave you specifically an item, that’s typically going to be yours to keep and you can take it with you. During the course of the marriage you’ve accumulated furniture, pots and pans, and that sort of stuff. Typically you’re going to want to handle that alone with your spouse and not necessarily involve the courts or attorneys.
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If you are looking for representation during your divorce, please call Rochester divorce attorney Michael Schmitt to schedule a free consultation.