Recently, I attended a meeting of divorce attorneys in a group called the Collaborative Lawyers Association of New York (alternative dispute resolution for divorce). At the meeting, our group had mixed feelings if a transfer of real property between spouses at divorce was for no consideration (no tax) or for fair market value (tax). Ethically, the attorneys agreed that this matter required further research.
As it turns out there is a taxable event according to the New York Code of Rules and Regulations.
20 NYCRR 575.11(a)(10): A conveyance from one spouse to the other pursuant to the terms fo a divorce or separation agreement is subject to tax. (There is a rebuttable presumption in such case, that the consideration for the conveyance, which includes the relinquishment of marital rights, is equal to the fair market value of the interest in the real property conveyed.).
The takeaway is that even though you and your spouse own a piece of property already, when you transfer it to each other as part of a divorce settlement, you will be taxed or you are committing tax fraud.