For all divorces filed on or after January 25, 2016, licenses, degrees, professional goodwill and other forms of enhanced earnings will no longer be considered marital property. This law does not effect divorces currently pending or divorces filed before January 25, 2016.
The statue is new, and somewhat unclear. While the statue clearly states that licenses degrees, professional goodwill and other forms of enhanced earnings are not subject to equitable distribution, it goes on to state: “HOWEVER, IN ARRIVING AT AN EQUITABLE DIVISION OF MARITAL PROPERTY, THE COURT SHALL CONSIDER THE DIRECT OR INDIRECT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DEVELOPMENT DURING THE MARRIAGE OF THE ENHANCED EARNING CAPACITY OF THE OTHER SPOUSE.”
The statute does not explain what a “direct or indirect”contribution is. I suppose if one spouse paid the tuition for the other, that might count as a “direct” contribution. But, “indirect” contribution is unclear. We’ll have to see how the judges interpret this next year.