Some property can be excluded from property division.
In other words, you may not have to share the value of all of your property with your spouse when you separate. For example, you can exclude the value of:
Gifts from anyone other than your spouse,
Damages from personal injury claims, and
Proceeds from a life insurance policy
When you calculate who owes whom how much in terms of property division.
If you want to exclude property, you have to prove each exclusion. This means that you will likely have to trace the property in question from the date that you received it until the date of separation. If you invest any funds from a gift into a Matrimonial Home, then you cannot exclude it any more. Also, if you deposit any funds from a gift into a joint account, or give them to your ex, then you may not be able to exclude them (or part of them) either.
In addition, any property that you had on the date of marriage is not included in the property division calculation, unless it is a Matrimonial Home.
All of this only applies if you are married. If you are not married, then you may not have to share your property at all.
Also, all of this only applies to the value of your property. You do not have to give anything that you own to your ex, but you do have to share the value of it. For example, if you solely own stocks, you do not have to transfer some of your stocks to your ex, but you will likely have to give him/her a portion of the dollar value of the shares on the date of separation.
If you have questions about dividing your property with you ex, please call us to schedule a free consultation.