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 company would be in my name, would she have a claim to the company?
Only money earned by either party to the marriage during 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 to put such funds in a separate account in the owner’s name or trust for the owner with such an owner’s social security number on such an account. If you use those funds to create a business in your name, you are converting them to marital property and subjecting them to your spouse’s claim. 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 an excellent claim to assert that the company is 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