Under New York law, when a couple divorces, any marital assets are subject to equitable distribution. In other words, the courts will allocate them in a manner they deem fair, which does not necessarily mean they will be divided equally. Separate property, on the other hand, remains the property of the spouse to whom it belongs. In some instances, however, a party may be entitled to a percentage of the increase in value of their spouse’s separate property, as demonstrated in a recent New York case. If you have questions regarding how a divorce may affect your property rights, it is advisable to speak to an experienced New York divorce lawyer as soon as possible.
History of the Case
It is alleged that the parties married in 2007 and had two children together, both of whom were born in 2010. The husband subsequently filed an action for divorce. The case proceeded to a bench trial, after which the judge entered a judgment of divorce and awarded the husband, among other things, 50% of the value of appreciation of the marital home. The wife appealed.
Property Rights in New York Divorces
The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s order with regard to its decision to grant the husband 50% of the value of the appreciation of the marital home, which was the wife’s separate property. The court explained that under Domestic Relations Law section 236, equitable distribution of assets must be based on the unique circumstances of the case in consideration of multiple statutory factors. Continue reading