Primarily servicing the greater New York City metropolitan area



LEONARD M.WEINER, ESQ, Ph.D.
DIVORCE SOLUTIONS
206 East 38th Street
New York, N.Y. 10016
(212) 370-1660

FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY

Question #27:
My husband and I are separated. He left after I called 911 on him for domestic violence. We have a temporary legal separation agreement in which he pays child support and half the mortgage. He is now finishing a software product that could make a great deal of money. He has been working on it for over a year, and drained everything we ever had to get it to this point. He "owns" 51% of this software program. Do I have any hope of getting half of this product's income? Or half of the "title" to it? He left us in very poor economic conditions.
Answer:
I cannot properly reply to your question because you did not indicate which state you were living in. If you are located in a community property or Equitable distribution state, you should be entitled to an equal share of the software which your spouse is developing. Marital property is generally defined as all property acquired during the course of the marriage except for property acquired as a result of inheritance, gift, etc and held separately. "During the course of the marriage" continues until the summons and complaint in the divorce action are filed. Since you state that you have just agreed to separate (but have not commenced divorce proceedings), the marriage is still continuing, unless your Separation Agreement expressly provides that all property acquired by each party after the separation date is to the deemed separate property and not part of the marital estate.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions

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