How are property rights determined in a divorce?

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How are property rights determined in a divorce?

My husband owned a farm before I met him. We began living together almost 12 years ago. He purchased a house in his name only 6 years later for us to live in. We got married almost 2 1/2 years ago and he refinanced both the farm’house almost 6 months later. We also started planting a vineyard at the farm 2 years ago and are co-owners of the vineyard and a winery. Do I have any claim to either property as marital property since he refinanced after we were married? Also, my income is $40,000 and his is in excess of $200,000. What are my changes for spousal support for a short duration?

Asked on April 9, 2012 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning that marital assets are divided equitably but not necessarily equally.  What needs to be determined first is if an asset is separate property, marital property or quasi marital property.  The intent of the parties to have property stay separate or become marital is also a factor to be weighted. You need to seek legal help here by some one who can look at the documents of the property involved and determine under the law if your actions and his actions - starting a business together on the property, etc., - is enough to give a martial label to the property.  Spousal support may also be intertwined in all of this determination.  Good luck.


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