This is all about the complex animal which is equitable distribution. Speak to an an attorney regarding these matters as soon as you can.
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I am assuming your divorce is not final. Your attorney should ask for this information during discovery and get the info during interrogatories and/or deposition.
Is this “helpful” or a “best” answer? Please mark it if it was, and I hope it was! Thank you! Nancy L. Ballast is an attorney in west Michigan, with a practice centered on family law, estate planning, and criminal law. Grandrapidslaw.blogspot.com
Generally speaking separate property is lost if spent, since courts "declare" separate property but have no power to distribute or recoup it. That said, you may be able to recover monies spent on house repairs to the extent the value of the home was enhanced. There may also be recovery of separate funds invested into a joint account under certain circumstances.
New York, as you probably know, is an equitable distribution state, unlike, say California, which is a community property state. What this means is that in a divorce case, the court can distribute marital property in an "equitable" fashion. Equitable, as the cases state, does not necessarily mean equal. One factor to consider in distributing marital property is the contributions of both parties. Your contribution of your inheritance (and its depletion) is, obviously, a substantial contribution to the marriage. If your wife has inherited a substantial sum, while you will not be entitled to that money if she has not commingled it with marital funds, you do have a strong case to ask for more than 50% of the marital assets that are to be divided. Her inheritance (if not commingled) is not a marital asset as defined by the Domestic Relations Law (see DRL 236(b)), and thus you have no right to any of her inheritance. However, if there are other marital assets, such as a house, you could get more than 50% of such assets.
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