Will I Have to Divide My Expensive Personal Items in My Divorce?

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You may assume that you will be able to keep all of your expensive personal items in the aftermath of your divorce. However, this is unfortunately not always the case. Follow along to learn how distribution will be determined and how a proficient Suffolk County high net worth divorce attorney at Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. can aggressively fight to protect your expensive assets.

How does New York State determine what is deemed an expensive personal item?

You may think that your personal items with designer brand names (i.e., purses, shoes, etc)., are your only possessions that are worth a significant monetary value. But you may also have other items that have appreciated in value since your initial purchase. Examples are as follows:

  • Jewelry (i.e., engagement ring, wedding band, etc).
  • Antiques (i.e., paintings, furniture, etc).
  • Collectible items (i.e., coins, stamps, comic books, etc).
  • Hobby accessories (golf equipment, musical instruments, etc).
  • Sports memorabilia (trading cards, autographed equipment, etc).

Will I have to split my expensive personal items that are marital property or separate property?

Put simply, if you paid for an expensive personal item using your joint credit card while you were married, then this item will likely be classified as marital property. In New York State, marital property is up for equitable distribution, in which a judge will consider varying circumstances to determine how to fairly divide the asset.

Contrastingly, if you purchased an expensive personal item using your personal credit card before you were married, then it will be considered separate property. It will then not have to undergo equitable distribution. Other items that may be considered separate property are as follows:

  • The item was obtained during the marriage as an inheritance.
  • The item was obtained during the marriage as a separate gift from a third party.
  • The item was obtained during the marriage as a gift from your spouse and was purchased with a separate source of funding.

Will I have to prove that my expensive personal items are separate property?

During your divorce proceedings, if you are claiming that an expensive personal item is a separate property, you must satisfy the burden of proof. That is, to prove this as separate property to the New York court, then you must provide evidence in the form of receipts that include the date and credit card used to purchase the item. If you cannot retrieve your receipts, then you can provide other evidence, such as dated photos of the item in your possession before your marriage.

For help with acquiring such evidence, it is in your best interest to employ a talented Suffolk County property distribution lawyer as soon as you possibly can.


If you require strong and dedicated legal representation through a divorce or family law matter in Long Island, New York, contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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