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How is marital property split if it is in one spouse’s name?

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Property Division

In a New York family law case, property division can be complicated and lead to dispute between the parties. One of the most contentious aspects is how property that both contributed to acquiring or to its increase in value will be split. This can be made even more challenging if it is in one person’s name as the owner.

Simply because a person’s name is not on the title does not mean they are not entitled to part of the property or its equitable value when it is divided. The court’s objective is to achieve a fair outcome. Both sides should know from the outset how to ensure they receive what they are entitled to independent of whose name is on the title.

Contributions will be factored in with property division

When a couple acquires a property, the law addresses how it was paid for and who took part in its acquisition through their efforts. For example, if there is a marital home or an automobile and it is in the name of the primary wage earner, that does not automatically mean it is theirs when they get divorced. The other person could have contributed in different ways.

Some factors regarding contribution include being a homemaker, raising children and assisting the other person in their career or career potential. Perhaps the wage earner ran their own business that the other spouse was only not heavily involved in. If they handled household matters giving the business owner freedom to focus on building the business, this will be weighed when the property is divided.

Know the law to achieve equitable property division

These issues frequently come to the forefront in high-asset cases where the wage earner made most or all the income the couple used to accrue its property. However, this can be a point of contention in any case regardless of the assets and their value.

In a family law case, many issues will be debated. Property that the couple had individually prior to the marriage or accrued during the marriage can have financial and sentimental value. It is imperative to know that simply because one person might have earned the vast proportion of the income and it is in their name it is still possible that it will be shared between the two. To be fully protected, it is vital to understand the law for property division.