Domestic Relations Law defines the term "marital property" to mean all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the execution of a separation agreement or the commencement of a matrimonial action, regardless of the form in which title is held, except as otherwise provided in an agreement (prenuptial or postnuptial agreement), or that which is Separate Property. Basically, any property that is earned or acquired during the course of the marriage is marital property and subject to being divided between the parties. This may include the marital residence, vehicles, retirement accounts, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, interests in businesses, and other items of property acquired during the marriage. Professional licenses, and college & advanced degrees are no longer considered marital property because of legislation passed in 2016.
The Marital Property is Divided by a process known as Equitable Distribution. The Court uses Equitable Distribution to distribute marital property upon the dissolution of the marriage based on what is fair under the circumstances. Equitable Distribution does not mean "equal distribution" but sometimes to avoid conflict marital property is divided equally. The following "Factors", are used by the Court to determine how marital property is divided:
The following is a list of property that is characterized as Separate Property and not subject to equitable distribution:
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