How is Our Property Divided in a Divorce?

Marital property includes anything earned or acquired by either spouse during the marriage that is not separate property. This includes wages earned by either spouse, increased value of pensions, and debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage. Divorce is not only separate bodies is also money and properties, a topic that causes a lot of fights and discussions.

By Sandler Francois

New York’s Domestic Relations Law requires “equitable distribution” of the couple’s marital property at the time of divorce. This means that the assets and debts of the marriage are divided in a way that is fair, but not necessary equal.

Spouses may not transfer, alter, or eliminate any whole piece of community property without the other spouse’s permission, but can manage their own half . However, the whole piece includes the other spouse’s one half interest.

Separate property include:

Property owned by just one spouse before the marriage
Property given to just one spouse before or during the marriage
Property inherited by just one spouse

Community property on divorce includes:

  • Money either spouse earned during the marriage
  • Things bought with money either spouse earned during the marriage
  • Separate property that has become so mixed with community property that it can’t be identified

Only marital property needs to be divided, since separate property already belongs to one spouse or the other.

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