What has Valentine’s Day brought into your life? Some might roll their eyes about the holiday, but others value the focus on romance or even the fun the day of love can inspire among the children in the home.
If Valentine’s Day has brought more than romance and fun into your life — such as something glittery — there are some family law matters to consider. If your marriage ends, you will be faced with the question of whether you get to keep that once-romantic gift after the divorce.
If you are currently clutching your Valentine’s pearls out of anxiety over wanting to file for divorce, there are some basics about how jewelry and similar assets are handled in the case of divorce:
The most basic question is whether the jewelry is considered separate or marital property. Were you given the article of glitz as a gift before you were married? Did you inherit the diamond bracelet from a loved one? If so, the item/s would likely stay in your possession if you were to get divorced in Florida.
Where the matter gets more complicated and somewhat less predictable is when you are given a gift of jewelry during your marriage. In this scenario, marital funds are used to purchase the decorative piece. The saying, “What’s yours is mine; what’s mine is yours,” is basically what applies.
Therefore, the gifts your spouse gave to you while you were married will likely be treated as most other marital assets are treated in the divorce process. All items should be properly appraised, and the value of those assets will make up a portion of the overall marital estate.
Do you hope to keep the jewelry collection you acquired through marriage after the divorce? If so, that might be an option. However, what your ex would receive out of the property division would reflect your decision to choose the jewelry. Maybe your ex would get more out of your collective savings or out of real estate, for example.
It is important to keep in mind that there are unique factors in every divorce case. Also, state laws differ on this matter and on property division in general. Florida is an equitable distribution state. This means that the marital estate would be divided fairly, not necessarily equally. This gives a court a bit of flexibility when assigning certain assets to certain individuals.
What do you hope to protect for yourself or your kids to keep through your divorce process? Be honest about your goals with your trusted family law attorney, and he or she can try to best guide you effectively.