When it comes to the division of marital assets, gifts present their own set of guidelines depending on when you received them and whom they came from.
(Note: The gifts that most often become issues in the divorce settlement are those with significant value such as real estate, art, antiques, jewelry, etc.)
Any gift received before your date of marriage is considered non-marital property and, therefore, not subject to division in a divorce. In a Florida divorce, for the purpose of determining gifts in a divorce case, the duration of your marriage commences on the date you are married and concludes on the date that you file a divorce petition. Those received during the marriage, however, can be a different story.
Gifts given during the marriage from one spouse to another are considered marital property. These can be anything from a car to jewelry to a bank account opened in your name. It does not matter if you receive them for your birthday, your anniversary, Christmas, or some other holiday. If you receive them from your spouse during the marriage, then it is considered to be marital property. Regardless of whether you are specified as the sole owner or account holder, they will typically be divided during a divorce.
Since you are often talking about gifts that are physical assets, this division means the spouse who received the gift will have to either sell it or determine another way to offset its value in order to keep it.
Gifts you receive from someone other than your spouse during the marriage are yours to keep as they are considered to be non-marital assets. The exception to this comes if you have comingled them with marital assets. For example, if you receive an inheritance and deposit it in a joint account or use it towards a purchase in both of your names, there is a greater likelihood that it will be considered marital property.
List out any and all gifts you have received during the marriage for your divorce lawyer. Be sure they know the source of the gifts as well as the timing. An experienced attorney will be focused on protecting your interests and holdings.
Talk to a Divorce Attorney in West Palm Beach
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss issues related to financial division, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.