When divorcing, one of the most contentious issues you will be faced with is property division. Understandably, there is a lot at stake during property distribution as each spouse’s overall financial security is at risk. New York is an equitable distribution state. This means marital assets are divided equitably between both parties, but not necessarily in an even 50/50 split. The court has discretion in dividing marital assets in whatever way they determine is fair after taking certain factors into account. Divorcing couples often wonder what types of assets are up for division. With that being said, they often wonder whether they can keep interspousal gifts. Keep reading to learn whether interspousal gifts are subject to equitable distribution and discover how a trusted Suffolk County Martial Property Attorney can help you navigate this complex legal process.
How are interspousal gifts divided in a divorce?
When divorcing it is crucial to understand the different kinds of assets subject to equitable distribution. As mentioned above, New York is an equitable distribution state which means any assets acquired during the marriage will be divided fairly between both parties. Essentially, marital assets are funds that were accumulated during the marriage. When it comes to equitable distribution, basically one spouse can receive a larger share of the couple’s marital assets if the court deems it reasonable. The court will consider several factors when determining a fair division of assets. The following include but are not limited to the factors a judge will consider:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s income and earning potential
- Each spouse’s education
- Each spouse’s contribution to marital property
- Any alimony or child support orders
- Property division tax consequences
- Each spouse’s financial obligations
Ultimately, the court will review a number of factors in determining how to divide marital property. It is important to note that only assets acquired during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution. Separate property is not subject to equitable distribution. Separate property refers to any assets that were accumulated outside of the marriage.
When it comes to gifts, couples often wonder whether they are considered marital or separate property and subject to equitable distribution. The answer ultimately depends on whether the gift was an interspousal gift. Generally, if a non-spouse gives gifts to one of the divorcing spouses, that gift will be regarded as separate property. For instance, if one spouse is gifted a necklace from a friend, the necklace would be considered separate property. If the gift was given from one spouse to another spouse, the gift will usually be considered marital property as marital funds were most likely used to purchase the gift. Therefore, interspousal gifts are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.
If you are dissolving your marriage, it is in your immediate interest to retain the legal services of one of our skilled and trusted team members. Don’t navigate this complex legal process alone. Our firm will work tirelessly to help you protect your hard-earned assets. Additionally, we will ensure you understand what types of assets may be subject to equitable distribution.