How Do I Divide Expensive Personal Items in a Divorce?

A classic wristwatch beside a folded leather wallet on a wooden surface, reminiscent of the meticulous preparation by a Nassau County child support lawyer for their day in court.

Unlike most personal items that depreciate over time, most designer items appreciate significantly more than the initial purchase price. So, if you are getting a divorce but are unsure of how your expensive personal items will be divided in your settlement, read on to discover how a seasoned Nassau County high net worth divorce lawyer of Barrows Levy PLLC can fight for your hard-earned assets every step of the way.

What are considered expensive personal items in New York State?

The following are personal items that are potentially high in monetary value:

  • Designer items (purses, shoes, etc).
  • Jewelry.
  • Antiques.
  • Coin collections.
  • Stamp collections.
  • Comic book collections.
  • Hobby accessories (golf equipment, musical instruments, etc).
  • Sports memorabilia (trading cards, autographed equipment, etc).

Are my expensive personal items considered marital property or separate property?

Essentially, any expensive personal item that was acquired during your marriage will qualify as marital property. So, if you paid for an item with your joint credit card during your marriage, then this item will likely be considered marital property. This type of property is subject to equitable distribution, which means that a New York judge will have to determine a fair division.

On the other hand, if you owned an expensive personal item before marriage, then this is considered separate property. This type of property will not have to undergo equitable distribution. The same goes for the following items:

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

How do I prove that my expensive personal items are separate property?

Importantly, it is not enough to just know when and how an expensive personal item was purchased to conclude it as marital or separate property. Rather, if you are claiming it as separate property, you carry the burden of proof and will need evidence to present to the New York court.

The most common form of proof is through receipts, as they will state the date and credit card that was used to purchase the expensive personal item. But in the event that you lost your receipts, then you can show a dated photo of the item in your possession prior to your marriage.

If you require assistance with gathering this evidence, you should not hesitate in retaining the services of a competent Nassau County property distribution lawyer today.


If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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