FINANCIAL ISSUES - MARITAL PROPERTY V. SEPARATE PROPERTY
Near the end of my marriage I was at work on a textbook which was about 50% complete at the time we filed for divorce. (We are attempting to negotiate a resolution.) A second book, based on the first, was begun several months after filing, but required substantial additional work to complete. My wife did not contribute to the creation of either book. Both arise from my job as a teacher. Are either or both books marital property? If so, are there guidelines for an appropriate spousal share? We are NY residents.
Marital property is generally defined as all property acquired during the course of the marriage other than through gift or inheritance, regardless of in whose name the property is held .Thus, according to the facts you presented, 50 percent of the first book appears to be marital property, whereas the second book, which was not commenced until after the divorce papers were executed by the judge and filed with the clerk, appears to be separate property, and not marital property.
Under the "Equitable Distribution" laws of New York State, each party generally has a 50 percent interest in the marital property, with the court retaining the right to make certain adjustments based on particular facts in each situation. There are no, however, statutory amounts that are provided to spouses as there are with child support.
If you're located in the New York City metropolitan area, please call me at 212-370-1660 to discuss mediating this matter.
It is an issue that should be mediated and not litigated in court, and mediation will save you much time, money, effort and aggravation.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions