How Can I Divide Expensive Personal Items in My Divorce?

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You may think that you can easily pack up your personal items at the conclusion of your divorce. However, if these items have appreciated significantly more than the initial purchase price, then there may be a fight for them. Read on to discover how your expensive personal items will be divided in a contested divorce and how a seasoned Suffolk County marital property attorney of the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C., can help to protect your assets.

What expensive personal items may be divided in a New York divorce?

While you may not realize it, the following are personal items that are potentially high in monetary value, and thus may be desired in a divorce:

  • Designer items (clothing, accessories, etc).
  • Jewelry (engagement ring, wedding band, etc).
  • Antiques (furniture, fine china, etc).
  • Collectible items (art pieces, comic books, coins, stamps, etc).
  • Hobby accessories (golf equipment, musical instruments, etc).
  • Sports memorabilia (trading cards, autographed photos, jerseys, equipment, etc).

How will my expensive personal items be determined as marital property vs. separate property?

Your expensive personal items will be determined as marital property if you acquired them during your marriage and paid for them using the joint credit card you share with your spouse. Notably, New York State follows equitable distribution law, so your marital property will be subject to a fair and just division between you and your spouse.

Then, your expensive personal items will be deemed as separate property if you acquired them before your marriage. So, they will not be subject to equitable distribution. The same goes in the following circumstances:

  • The item was acquired during your marriage as an inheritance.
  • The item that was acquired during your marriage as a gift from a third party.
  • The item was acquired during your marriage as a gift from your spouse and was purchased with a separate source of funding.

How can I prove that my expensive personal items are separate property?

Even if you know that when and how your expensive personal item was purchased makes it a separate property, you must be able to prove this to the New York court. The most common way this is done is by sharing a receipt of the transaction, which names the date and the credit card used. But, especially after so many years, it is common for receipts to get lost. So, another acceptable form of proof is a photo of the item in your possession, which is dated before your marriage.

For more ideas, you should consult with a competent Suffolk County high income divorce attorney as soon as you possibly can.


If you need strong legal representation regarding matters of divorce, family law, and estate law, contact the Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. to schedule a consultation today.

Why choose our firm?

We have an excellent AVVO rating from our many happy clients

We will tirelessly pursue a favorable resolution to your case

We offer aggressive and effective representation

We treat our clients with the compassion, patience, and respect that they deserve

We have more than 20 years of dedicated legal experience

We have the legal knowledge necessary to help you obtain the outcome you desire

We tailor our practice to the representation of your divorce case

What Our Clients Are Saying

I hired Susan to represent me in a divorce matter where I was fighting for custody and to limit my wife's equitable share of our assets. I won custody of our son, kept the marital residence, kept my professional practice, kept my building and paid less than half to my wife. This was after a long-term marriage. She could persuade the court that equitable is not equal and sometimes the man does deserve to win!

‐ Dave

I first must say that I had been represented by two prior attorneys both of whom had simply taken my money and left me nothing to show for it in my custody case. They kept telling me what they were doing for me but I found out they were lying. Susan on the other hand had gotten me temporary custody and support for my children and myself within two months of hiring her. I cannot say enough about her.

‐ Craig

After talking to a few other attorneys, I hired Susan to represent me in my divorce and custody dispute. I was reluctant to go with her because she was the cheapest out of all the other attorneys I met with, but I'm so glad I did. I am 100% positive no one else would have done such a great job with my case as Susan and her staff. Her work is quality, her staff is reliable and her character is honorable. There...

‐ Linda

I had a very difficult case where I had already burned through two attorneys who were unable to get me custody of my children and complete my divorce. Susan was able to rapidly work out an agreement and not let it just malinger on like my previous experiences. She was also considerate of my financial situation unlike all of the other lawyers I had spoken to. I highly recommend her if you want complete and caring service with an in-depth knowledge of...

‐ Joanne


The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. proudly serves clients throughout Suffolk County, New York in their divorce, family law, and estate planning matters. If you require the services of an experienced Suffolk County attorney, schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. today.

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