While married people generally have the right to buy and sell assets as they see fit, parties engaged in the process of ending their marriage via divorce generally do not enjoy such freedoms. Specifically, New York law generally enjoins parties from disposing of marital assets without express permission. Recently, a New York court elaborated on the law restraining parties involved in divorce actions from transferring assets in a matter in which the husband sought permission to sell a wine collection to pay marital debts. If you are contemplating seeking a divorce and have concerns about how the decision to end your marriage may impact your rights, it is prudent to confer with a New York divorce attorney regarding your options.
Procedural Background of the Case
It is reported that the wife instituted a divorce action and sought ancillary relief in July 2018. Later that year, the husband moved for permission to sell part of the parties’ wine collection while the divorce was pending and advised the court that he intended to use the proceeds of the sale to pay marital expenses and debts. The trial court denied the husband’s motion, after which he appealed.
New York Law Regarding the Disposition of Marital Assets in Divorce Cases
On appeal, the court affirmed the trial court ruling. In doing so, the court explained that New York Domestic Relations law section 236 dictates that upon the commencement of a divorce action orders prohibiting the parties from disposing of or transferring marital property without the consent of the court or the written consent of the opposing party will automatically issue. Continue reading