WHITTAKER v. CASE (Appellate Divison, 3rd Dep’t)

Wife maintains that the Supreme Court erred in awarding the husband two bank accounts he opened jointly, one with his daughter and the other with his son.  Both accounts were funded with initial deposits totaling $100,000.  The Supreme Court found that the husband funded the majority of the two accounts with $187,000 of husband’s separate funds which he obtained from his aunt’s inheritance.  However, upon appellate review, the bank records indicated that the funding of the daughter’s account was actually from the parties’ joint SEFCU account and therefore, the wife should be entitled to an increase in distributive award of $50,000.

The son’s account, on the other hand, was funded from the husband’s separate funds which he inherited from his aunt.  Wife contends that because the inherited funds were initially held in a safe in the marital home of which she also had a key, they were transformed into marital property.  The Appellate Court, in affirming the decision of the Supreme Court, deems the argument unconvincing and the asset to still be husband’s separate property.