Domestic Relations Law defines the term "marital property" to mean all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage and before the execution of a separation agreement or the commencement of a matrimonial action, regardless of the form in which title is held, except as otherwise provided in an agreement (prenuptial or postnuptial agreement), or that which is Separate Property.

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Separate Property is often referred to as the property that was acquired before the marriage, however, the following is a list of property that is characterized as Separate Property:

  • Property acquired before the marriage or property acquired by bequest, devise, or descent (inheritance), or gift from a party other than the spouse.
  • Compensation for personal injuries, excepting punitive damages.
  • Property acquired in exchange for or the increase in value of separate property, except to the extent that such appreciation is due in part to the contributions or efforts of the other spouse.
  • Veteran's benefits exempt from attachment, levy or seizure pursuant to the laws of the United States, except when a Veteran has waived a portion of his military retirement pay in order to receive Veteran's compensations.
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