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Can a house I purchase while separated be brought into dispute during the divorce process?

Q: I've been separated with no commingling since January 2015. I have two kids but I'm the noncustodial parent as they do not live with me. I live with my girlfriend and step daughter. I live in Westchester County, NY. My children and their mother live in New York County, NY in an apartment which was under my name until I signed the lease over to their mother in February of 2015. When the funds present themselves I intend to seek a divorce. I'm currently looking towards buying a home and have been pre-approved. My girlfriend and I intend to make this purchase together with both of our names appearing on the contract and eventually the deed upon closing.

A: David's Answer: You should wait until at least filing the divorce before going ahead with the purchase. Presumptively, any property purchased during a marriage (& before commencement of the divorce) is marital. Thereafter, ensure that the down-payment is paid by your girlfriend or by post-commencement earnings. Schedule a consult with a Westchester Divorce attorney for a full assessment. - David Bliven, Westchester Divorce Attorney.

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