-Question #78: I live in NY with my wife and child. We have been married for almost 5 yrs. My question is if I have money in my individual account from a sale of real estate, but the money is not mine, does she have a claim to it? The other question, if that money is going towards a purchase of a business even though it’s not my money but the business would be in my name, would she have a claim to the business.

Only money earned by either party to the marriage during the course of the marriage is “marital property”. If it is money belonging to someone else , and you can substantiate that, it should not be considered marital property and is not subject to division. It would be best if you put such funds in a separate account in the owner’s name or in trust for the owner with such owner’s social security number on such account. If you use those funds to create a business in your name you are converting those funds to marital property and subjecting them to a claim by your spouse. If you received those funds as a gift or inheritance and kept them in a separate account and then used them to form a business just in your name, as separate property, you would have a good claim to assert that the business is in fact separate property and not subject to a claim by your spouse.
If you are located in the NYC metro area and would like to discuss the matter further, give me a call at 212-370-1660.

Leonard M. Weiner, Esq / Divorce Solutions