When you and your spouse get divorced, the court may have to step in to help you divide your assets and property. There are cases in which you and your ex can agree on certain points and work together, but the court helps ensure things are done properly and it helps resolve disagreements.
As such, the first step for the court is to find out what property it can even rule on. Remember, that must be marital property. The court is presiding over your divorce, or the end of your marriage. It doesn't have the power to make other rulings about nonmarital property. It can just rule on things that you both had a right to as a couple.
So, if you're interested in a fair ruling, make sure you know what assets actually count as marital property. Typically, most of what a couple owns will qualify. A few exceptions include:
- Assets that one of you bought before you got married and which the other person has no investment in at all.
- Inheritances that have been passed to just one person and were never commingled.
- Property that is noted in a prenuptial agreement, which you both signed off on before the marriage.
- Property that either one of you got after you both separated. You may need to show the legal date of the separation.
These are just a few examples, but they help to show you why it is so important to understand how the legal process works, what steps you need to take and what legal rights you have under New York law.