In a recent divorce case here in New York, Bennet vs. Bennet, two spouses were fighting over property that was jointly paid for. The spouses had formed a prenuptial agreement and there they agreed that what would be considered as marital property in a divorce would include any jointly owned property or household items acquired then on. However, after having been married the wife decided to buy a home in East Hampton, and the husband not only helped pay for the mortgage, but he also helped pay the bills.
During the divorce action the husband sought to claim, because they jointly purchased it, that the house ought to be called marital property by the court. However, the judge upheld the prenuptial agreement which defined the property that they bought as clearly separate; whether the husband put a dime towards it or not. This is because in their prenuptial, they clearly stated that any real property purchased even during the time of their marriage regardless of the title held would be considered as separate property. The reason the court deemed that it was considered to be separate property, despite both having invested into it, was because after their marriage the wife no longer worked and therefore when they split the property was considered hers.
As you can see, divorces can be complicating which is why having a skilled Long Island divorce lawyer on your side is so crucial. In the state of New York what the court will focus on is equitable distribution (what is fair in the divorce, not necessarily equal) as they would in community property states.
Whether you are considering the option of getting married and want to draft a prenuptial agreement to protect your property for a divorce in the future, or you are married now and are ready to split; The Meyers Law Group is prepared to help you with all your family and divorce legal needs.