Property Division Attorney in New York, New York

What’s the difference between marital and non-marital property in New York?

More In This Category

View Transcript

that appears to be a simple question but

it is really complex so

in new york the basic rule is that

separate property is anything you had at

the date of the marriage

what you inherited during the marriage a

gift to you alone during the marriage

and any personal injury awards that you

had during the marriage

but what gets complex is how


determine what happened to that so

although it may have been separate


at the date of the marriage or at one

point when you received it during the

marriage it may have not stayed that way

if you didn’t treat it that way because

things become co-mingled or transmuted

and so it is our job to trace those

assets and we need to look at what you

had at the date of marriage and really

see what you did with it during the

marriage did you

spend it did you use it did you

trade it

and so we have to trace those assets

whether they’re what you received as a

gift or whether you had that asset

coming into the marriage and one example

of that is a business asset so you may

have had a business at the date of your

marriage but you were working hard you

were making that business grow and now

that may be either a different business

or a much more valuable business so

although the business at your date of

marriage was separate property it that

appreciation has become marital property

or if it’s become into a new business

that may be marital property so we

really need to look at what happened

during the marriage and then we need to

look at

the the person’s contributions to that

business and then the non-titled

spouse’s contributions to the business

because what is their true entitlement

to that appreciation because new york is

not a simple 50-50 state we don’t just

take meryl property and hack it up down

the middle we really looked to see how

it was created

what happened and the evolution of the

separate property and the marital

property and my forensic accounting

background allows me to go back and


rebuild the the mayoral

estate and see what happened during the

marriage to try to understand

what happened to that separate property

and if it still remains separate or if

it’s now

marital property and one example i

always give clients is separate property

is white paint you come into the

marriage with beautiful white paint

but sometimes you put red paint into

that white paint whether it’s your work

whether it’s dollars whether it’s your

mind and now that white paint and their

red paint is combined and it turned pink

how do we make that pink paint back to


that is our job and it sometimes is


and almost impossible

and sometimes we’re able to do it and it

really depends on the asset

NYC family law attorney S. Susan Gross explains the difference between marital and non-marital property in New York.

More Videos From This Lawyer