Commingled Assets and Transmutation
New York is not a community property state. For divorce settlement purposes, all property is characterized as separate property or marital property. Separate property is defined as any personal asset that is retained as a spouse’s individual property, with or without a prenuptial agreement stipulating the status of the property. Marital property is defined as all property obtained by the spouses over the duration of the marriage. This includes property jointly purchased, such as a house.What Should be Considered Separate Property? What is Commingled Property?
It seems simple enough, but it gets complicated when separate property increases in value over the course of the marriage, or separate property was commingled with marital property. In addition, property such as pension funds are subject to characterization as marital property, even if only one spouse worked and contributed to the fund. Under the Majauskas formula, the non-contributing spouse is entitled to receive one half of the value of the appreciation of the retirement fund during the course of the marriage, including expected future earnings from the appreciated amount.
I have experience in all areas relating to division of assets, commingling of funds and equitable distribution of marital property, including:
- Appreciation of separate property
- Trusts and inheritances
- Commingled investments and joint accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Real estate portfolios
- Life insurance policies
- Ownership of businesses and professional practices
Separate property brought into the marriage may become commingled with marital property, re-characterizing the property as marital property. Divorcing spouses often face intense disputes over the characterization of separate property as commingled assets, particularly in divorces involving individuals of high net worth.
Marital property laws in New York are complex. Don’t trust your financial future or your settlement to what your spouse’s lawyer deems fair. At the firm of Jonathan D. Katz, Attorney at Law, we have been helping people protect their rights and financial interests in divorce for more than a quarter of a century.Call the Experienced Divorce Attorney, Jonathan Katz
Contact our offices in Saugerties, New York, to arrange a consultation about your property settlement. When I meet to discuss your concerns, I will go over your current circumstances and clearly explain the laws of property transmutation in the state.