During a New York Divorce, What Happens to Gifts?

hands holding gift

When you and your spouse divorce, you’re likely focusing on the significant implications – child custody, alimony, and the division of your property. However, you may not consider the gifts you accrued during your marriage. Though these may not seem like a big deal, they can often become a point of high contention. As such, you should understand what happens to presents when you separate. Keep reading to learn more about this process and discover how a Nassau County property distribution lawyer can help you with any issues you may experience.

How Is Property Distributed During a Divorce?

If you want to keep any gifts exchanged during your divorce, it’s essential to understand whether they are considered separate or marital property. Generally, separate property is anything acquired before the marriage or owned solely by one spouse. Marital property includes assets accumulated during the marriage and is subjected to distribution to both parties.

However, it’s important to note that separate property may become marital property. For example, if a spouse inherits $5,000 and places it into a bank account their spouse does not have access to, it is separate. But, if they deposit that money into a joint bank account, it becomes marital property. This is through co-mingling, in which individual property mixes with marital property. The same can apply to a home purchased before the union, where both spouses make mortgage payments.

Can I Keep Gifts During a Divorce?

In general, you can keep gifts you acquired during your marriage. However, your spouse may be entitled to share the value of the physical item with your spouse. For example, if your spouse gifts you a ring and appraisal values it at $4,000, you can keep the physical item, but its value will likely factor into the property distribution. Anything acquired before the marriage is your property, and as such, you are entitled to keep them.

If you receive a gift from a third party and keep it from mingling with your spouse’s assets, you can keep it as your separate property. However, your spouse may try to claim that it is marital property, as the gift was intended for both of you. You must fulfill the burden of proof that the present was intended for you. This may be done by producing a card that accompanied the gift or showing that the check only had your name on it.

When you are going through a divorce, understanding what property you are entitled to is essential. At Barrows Levy, our dedicated legal team will work to protect your assets. Our firm can help you navigate your divorce to represent your best interest. Contact us today to connect with one of our competent attorneys to discuss the details of your case.

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