When you file for divorce in New York, there are a myriad of issues to negotiate in your final settlement. Property division may be one of the most difficult topics to tackle, as people become attached to the possessions they have accumulated throughout years of marriage. During the negotiations process, both parties must account for all marital property. In New York, and in many other states in the nation, marital property is divided in a fair and equitable fashion as seen fit by the judge presiding over the case.
While some limit marital property to the family home, vehicles and furniture, there are other critical items to consider when dividing the property amassed during marriage. These include the following:
- Expensive collections, such as antiques, art, cars, horses and coins
- Memberships to exclusive country clubs and golf courses
- Travel rewards points and frequent flier miles
- Lottery ticket winnings
- 401k plans, stock options, retirement accounts and term life insurance policies
- Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks
If one spouse lends money and/or property to a third-party during the marriage, both spouses are entitled to half of the money or property once it is repaid. Marital property also includes any gifts the couple gave to one another during the marriage, such as jewelry, property, vehicles and money.
There are some items that may stay with the original owner, even after the settlement has been finalized. This is known as separate property and if kept properly, it is not divisible in the final decree. Accounting for all marital property in the divorce settlement may minimize any property disputes in the future.