Property distribution is one of the most contentious issues couples face when divorcing, as each party’s hard-earned assets are on the line. This is primarily an issue because it can be challenging to distinguish marital and separate property, mainly when sorting out gifts and inheritances. If you’re concerned about keeping the gifts you receive before or during your marriage, it’s in your best interest to contact an experienced Nassau County Property Distribution Lawyer who can help you protect your assets. Please continue reading to learn how gifts are handled in a New York divorce. 

How Are Assets and Debts Divided During a New York Divorce?

New York is an equitable distribution state. Under this system, the court must divide a couple’s marital property as fairly as possible. This is because marriages are recognized not only as a social partnership but also as an economic one. Martial property is any assets obtained during the marriage, regardless of which spouse acquired it. Separate property, on the other hand, represents any assets that were accumulated before the marriage. It’s crucial to note that marital property will be divided during the divorce process by equitable distribution laws. Separate property is protected from division and wholly awarded to the spouse who owns it. Generally, the court will consider the following factors to determine an equitable split of a couple’s marital assets:

  • The duration of the marriage
  • The age and health of both spouses
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income
  • The education and earning capacity of each spouse
  • Any alimony or child support awards
  • The tax consequences to each spouse
  • Each spouse’s financial obligations and debts
  • Any other relevant factors

Are Gifts Considered Marital Property?

Assets received as gifts often count as separate property, regardless of when the assets were acquired. However, if these assets are mixed with marital assets or used for the benefit of the marriage, they are no longer considered separate as they fall under commingled assets. Nevertheless, if a gift is addressed to one spouse, it will not be considered marital property. For instance, if you receive a gift for your birthday, that would be regarded as separate property. If you receive a gift addressed to you and your former spouse, such as a new kitchen appliance, it would be considered marital property. It’s crucial to note that if a gift was given to you by your spouse or vice versa during the marriage, it is considered marital property and will be subject to equitable distribution. This doesn’t mean that you will have to return the gifts you’ve received from your former spouse, but it may mean that you need to determine the value of those gifts to be factored into the value of the overall marital property.

If your assets are at stake, please don’t hesitate to contact a determined lawyer from the Law Offices of Eyal Talassazan, P.C. Our legal team is prepared to help you protect your financial security.