Your ski lodge is your prized possession. On a weekend, any time of the year, you can escape your normal routine to spend a weekend in the mountains. If it's winter, you get to ski. If it's summer, you get to hike and go kayaking. You've had your ski lodge for 15 years, and it's actually been paid off that long because you bought it with a lump sum of cash. Now that you and your soon-to-be ex are going through a divorce, however, you're starting to wonder if you'll get to keep your favorite winter escape.
In your case, you probably will get to keep your ski lodge. The state of New York is known as an equitable distribution state. This means that the family law judge in your divorce proceedings will seek to divide your marital property in a way that's fair and equitable. In this context, "equitable" does not mean "equal." Furthermore, in your situation, it's highly unlikely that your ski lodge will be a part of the marital estate unless at some point you decided to put your wife's name on the property deed as co-owner.
In New York property division proceedings, assets and income acquired prior to one's marriage will be considered separate property and it won't be divisible as a part of the marital estate. Any items, assets, income, purchases and debts acquired during the marriage -- after you said "I do" -- will be considered marital property and subject to division.
If you're worried about whether you'll be able to keep certain assets after your New York divorce has finalized, the law office of Michael G. Putter, Attorney at Law, is here to assist you. We will review your current circumstances to determine what you can expect during your asset division process.