Divorce | Patchogue, NY | Law Office of Alan Raymond Barr, PC | 631-447-3400

Equitable Distribution and Marital Property

Help yourself stay informed about your case by understanding the difference between marital and non-marital property.



Equitable Distribution | Patchogue, NY | Law Office of Alan Raymond Barr, PC | 631-447-3400

Marital Property

In New York State "marital property" refers to any property acquired by the spouses during the course of their marriage, and is distributed between the parties regardless of who holds the title to such property. Marital property includes income earned by each spouse during the marriage, real estate, pensions, 401-K accounts and any other item of value.

Marital property is distributed equitably between the spouses prior to the finalization of the divorce.

In New York State a professional license (e.g. license to practice medicine, license to practice law) is considered "marital property" and is subject to distribution, which is effectuated by a forensic accountant appraising the additional income the professional spouse will earn over his/her lifetime due to the professional license, and tendering to the other spouse his/her fair share of such value.

Non-Marital Property

In New York State, property that is not "marital" is referred to as "separate property". Separate property is not divided between the spouses upon divorce, but is retained in the whole by its owner. Separate property may include the following:

  • Property that was inherited by one spouse
  • Property that was a gift to one spouse
  • Property that was obtained by one spouse as a settlement or an award for personal injury
  • Passive appreciation of separate property that was not due to one spouse's active efforts or contribution
  • Property that was acquired in exchange for separate property

It is imperative that separate property be kept separate in order to retain its separation property designation.

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