Separate propertyis defined in the Domestic Relations Law in four parts, which we'll explore in detail in this post. Understanding what does qualify as separate property will help us know what is not to be divided between spouses in a divorce process.
Only marital property is divided in a divorce, while separate property is left to its owner. As a result, it's crucial to understand what marital property is, and what it's not. New York law defines marital property as "all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage...regardless of the form in which title is held...."
Property division in a divorce happens in two stages. First, the property is classified as either separate or marital. Then, the martial property is distributed between the parties, while separate property remains with its owner. In New York, marital property is divided equitably (fairly), but not necessarily equally.