fbpx
Select Page

What Is Considered Community Property in Divorce?

by | Aug 4, 2020 | marital property, News and Events

One of the most significant issues in a divorce is the division of property. Ideally, you and your spouse will be able to reach a mutual agreement about who gets what property. If you’re not able to agree, you’ll have to pursue litigation where a judge will decide for you how your property will be distributed. In some cases, like high-net-worth divorces, it may be best to move straight to litigation.

Whether you settle out of court or end up in front of a judge, it’s important to have a solid understanding of the differences between separate property, community property, and domicile. Here’s what you should know.

Divorce Attorney Consultation

What Is Separate Property?

Separate property is generally property owned by one spouse prior to the divorce. For example, if your spouse owned a home in their name before they married you, that property would likely remain theirs in the event of a divorce. A few other assets are also considered separate property, such as an inheritance or a settlement award from a civil suit. Ideally, separate property is identified in a prenuptial agreement before the marriage so it’s clear who brought what into the marriage if a divorce occurs.

What Is Community Property?

Community property, also called marital property, is the majority of property in a marriage. Usually, any property that you and your spouse acquire during your marriage is considered community property and owned by both of you. For example, if you purchased a home after your marriage, this would be considered community property even if only one spouse’s name is on the title.

All money earned during the marriage is also regarded as shared, even if it is placed in a bank account under the name of only one spouse. Any furniture, vehicles, computer equipment, small home appliances, and other items purchased during the marriage will be considered community property. Typically, the only exception is a gift. If a spouse bought their partner a gift during the marriage, this property remains under the ownership of the recipient. This is most commonly the case with jewelry.

What About the Marital Home?

The marital home is considered community property if it was acquired after the marriage took place. Generally, there are two things ways to distribute the marital home:

  • One spouse can “buy” the other out by paying for half of the home’s value. This allows one spouse to become the sole owner of the home.
  • Both spouses can choose to sell the home and share the proceeds under equitable distribution.

If both spouses agree on what to do with the marital home, this is usually simply entered into the final divorce decree. However, if neither party can agree on what to do with the marital home, a judge will have to decide. It’s difficult to know ahead of time how a judge will choose to allocate the marital home. If the judge mandates the sale of the home, it’s possible that it will sell for less than it’s worth, leaving both you and your ex-spouse with less in the long run.

How New York Equitable Distribution Laws Can Affect Your Divorce

Many people mistakenly believe that equitable distribution means equal distribution and that all assets will be split evenly between both spouses. While this is the way property was divided in the past, courts have since realized that the fair allocation of property between spouses does not always mean equal.

For example, if one spouse earns significantly more money than the other and will be able to easily live independently after the divorce, a judge may award the couple’s liquid assets to the lesser learning spouse so that each party has more equal footing when leaving the marriage. Or, if one spouse will have primary physical custody of the children, a judge may award the primary caregiver the marital home and distribute other property, such as a boat or recreational vehicle, to the other spouse.

Divorcing? Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Can Help

If you’re considering getting a divorce or have received divorce papers from your spouse, it’s important to know your legal rights in regard to property owned by you and/or your soon-to-be-ex spouse. At Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., we can help evaluate the types of property you and your spouse share and don’t share, and how best to allocate them. Contact us today for your free consultation at 631-923-1910.

 

 

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION TODAY
Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Get your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today.

Your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this conversation, we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below for your free consultation and case evaluation.

All Fields Are Required

Divorce Lawyer Attorney Long Island NY Courts Open
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York

 

 

Google Review of divorce longisland
Sam Berg
Sam Berg
15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his office.
chris seppe
chris seppe
22:35 11 Jul 20
Wow what an amazing team of people

Reviews

  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!

 

 

divorce questions answered

 

 

Long Island Divorce Guide

Fill the form to download Guide

* indicates required




 

Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. respects your right to privacy. We will never sell your information to any third party. Follow this link to read our full privacy policy.

 

Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Tools
Spousal Maintenance Calculator
Child Support Calculator

Pin It on Pinterest