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.
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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.