If I purchase a new or used car while going through a divorce, would it be considered joint marital property?

UPDATED: Jan 6, 2011

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If I purchase a new or used car while going through a divorce, would it be considered joint marital property?

I live in NY and filed a month or so ago. He has not responded. I need to get a car but am unsure as to whether he would have claim to it as a marital asset or not. We have been separated for over 2 years but I waited to file until the no fault law was in effect in NY.

Asked on January 6, 2011 under Family Law, New York


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

You should be fine here.  The courts will look at a date certain to try and determine when assets are considered marital and when they are considered separate property.  Obviously the date of marriage is an easy one to figure from so income earned after the date of marriage is considered a marital asset.  Filing for divorce is a date that the courts will look at to set as a cut off point for purchase of assets as well.  Here could be the tricky part: are you buying that car with money that was earned prior to the date of filing and that was not outright separate property (like inheritance)?  Then you could run in t trouble.  Ask your lawyer if the dates and lines are blurred here.  Good luck.

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