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Property of Married Woman

When a couple gets married, sometimes clarification is required as to what property is owned by the couple together, by the husband individually, and by the wife individually. While historically married women could not own property, the laws changed long ago. Now the law makes it clear that married women can indeed own both real property and personal property. This means while the couple may own a lot of property jointly, each spouse can also own both personal and real property individually. The issue of property ownership can become a point of contention if the marriage does not work out and the couple divorces. If you are facing a legal matter related to your marriage and property ownership, contact an experienced New York family lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience, we have the skill and knowledge to represent your interests in matters related family, divorce, asset division, spousal support, spousal maintenance, and child support.

Property of Married Women

According to NY Dom Rel Law § 50, property owned by a woman at the time she enters into a marriage or that is acquired by a woman while she is married, continues to be her sole and separate property. Her husband does not have the right to control that property or to dispose of the property. In addition, her husband does not have the right to use the property to pay his debts.

Although the statute specifies that women can hold solely owned property, the same principal applies to men. In other words, the statute permits each spouse to hold, control, encumber, or dispose of separate property.

However, keep in mind that New York is an equitable distribution state. While each spouse owns the income he or she earns during the marriage, and also has the right to manage any property that's in his or her name alone, if the couple divorces, the way the property is titled or who purchased it are not the only deciding factors as to who ends up with the property. If the divorce is a contested divorce, the court will determine an equitable division of assets.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Insurance of married person’s life: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 52
  2. Pardon not to restore married person’s life: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 58
  3. Married person’s domicile: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 61
Domestic Relations Law, section 50: Property of married woman

Property, real or personal, now owned by a married woman, or hereafter owned by a woman at the time of her marriage, or acquired by her as prescribed in this chapter, and the rents, issues, proceeds and profits thereof, shall continue to be her sole and separate property as if she were unmarried, and shall not be subject to her husband's control or disposal nor liable for his debts.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Knowing your legal rights as you enter a marriage is as important for the marriage as it is should you and your spouse decide to part ways. If you are facing a difficult time in your marriage and need guidance related to asset division or any matter related to divorce, the experienced New York family lawyers that the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates can help. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Suffolk County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Nassau County, Queens, and Westchester County.

Client Reviews
My ex-husband hadn't paid child support or the mortgage on the house as he was supposed to. Stephen Bilkis and his team of lawyers were amazing. They stopped the foreclosure on the house, Got a judgment against him and most importantly kept me and my children in the house. Can't say enough good things about him in the firm their compassion hard work and dedication were exceptional. I.G.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin