New York State courts distribute marital property by way of equitable distribution. Generally, all property acquired and income earned during the marriage is subject to equitable distribution. Nonmarital property will not be subject to equitable distribution. In addition to the property acquired during the marriage, property acquired before the start of the matrimonial action or before the execution of a separation agreement will generally be considered marital property. Marital property includes licenses, degrees or businesses. A spouse will usually have an interest in the other spouse’s business started during the marriage, but if the business was started before the marriage, a spouse may have an interest in the increase in the value of the business. Courts routinely determine the value of intangible assets such as advanced degrees and will account for their value through equitable distribution. Other intangible property includes pension rights, professional licenses, stock options, and professional achievements. Debt incurred during the marriage must also be accounted for. See generally Majauskas v. Majauskas
, 61 N.Y.2d 481 (1984); DRL §236B(1)(c)(defining marital property).
Nonmarital property includes property acquired before marriage or property received in exchange for, or the increase in value of separate property, compensation based on a personal injury claim, property received as a gift (but not from the spouse), inheritance or devise to a particular spouse, and property excluded by agreement. DRL §236B(1)(d)(defining nonmarital property).
the Marzec Law Firm to discuss any equitable distribution issues you are or may be facing.
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