Over 30 years of experience in divorce & family law


Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney, and mediator with over 37 years of experience notes that a recent Appellate Court decision confirmed the long-standing principle that separate property will be converted to marital property if title to subsequently acquired assets are titled in the names of both parties.

In a recent case determined by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, the Court held that where the husband purchased bonds with funds from the proceeds of his separate property disability pension, the bonds were deemed marital property and subject to equitable distribution by the trial Court because the bonds were titled in the names of both parties. Had the husband purchased the bonds in his name alone, the bonds would likely have been treated as separate property and would not be subject to equitable distribution.

The case illustrates the need for the owner of separate property assets or funds to always retain sole and exclusive title to his or her separate property. Mixing the separate property with marital property or changing the character of the separate property to jointly owned property may result in the Court converting the separate property to marital property.

Based on my extensive experience, I try to obtain results for all of my clients. Recent results can be found on the TESTIMONIALS page on this website. Focusing on the needs of the client and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 37 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. Michael Stern, Esq., a Long Island divorce and family law attorney, if you are interested in discussing your New York matrimonial, divorce or family law matter by phone at 516-747-2290.

My office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall Ring Road at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 555, in Garden City, New York.

The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York. This is attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.