Divorce And Gifts
During a Florida divorce, one major issue that couples need to address is property division. In Florida divorce, all martial assets are identified at the time of the filing of a divorce, at which time they are classified as either marital or non-marital for purposes of division. It is a myth that in Florida, only marital property gets divided between spouses because in reality, a spouse can be considered to have a marital interest in property that is otherwise considered as non-marital. While a spouse cannot technically be awarded a non-marital, a value can be assigned to a marital interest in a non-marital asset and that value has to be paid. It may well be paid with marital assets.
Generally, marital property is any property acquired during the course of a marriage by the parties and it includes things such as income from employment, jointly purchased homes and cars, etc. Notwithstanding, you might be surprised to learn that not all assets acquired during a marriage are considered marital property in Florida. For example, some gifts, inheritances and other assets are considered non-marital property even if they are acquired during the course of a marriage. If you are going through a divorce or are about to go through one, it is crucial that you understand what types of gifts are considered non-marital property and which are considered marital property to ensure you protect your rights. If there is a prenuptial agreement, it will define what assets and liabilities will be marital vs. non-marital, and if not, the Court will decide.
Gifts From Third Parties
In Florida, most gifts received from third parties, i.e., someone other than a spouse, are often considered as non-marital property; however, there are exceptions to this rule, as with most rules in family law. For example, what if a gift came from a family member and there is a different understanding as to the recipient. One spouse may consider the gift to be marital, to both parties where the other spouse may consider the gift to be to just him/her. Also, complications arise if you commingled a gift you received from a third party with marital assets. If you mixed a gift you received from a third party with marital assets, that gift will most likely be considered marital assets and be subject to division. Often, spouses commingle gifts with marital assets when the gifts come in the form of money. Unfortunately, there are many ways to commingle marital and non-marital assets, most of which are very subtle. Therefore, it is important to get advice from an experience attorney.
Gifts From a Spouse
In Florida, any inter-spousal gifts (gifts exchanged between spouses) are considered marital property during divorce. This means that any gift your spouse gave you after the two of you got married is subject to division during divorce. Even if a spouse gave the other spouse a gift on his or her anniversary, that gift would still be considered marital property during divorce. In fact, even if the gift your spouse gave you is solely in your name, that gift will be divided between you and your spouse during your divorce. Again, an exception to this would be an existing prenuptial agreement.
Will I Lose My Engagement/Wedding Ring?
In Florida, as noted above, all marital property is identified on the date a divorce is filed. Any property acquired prior to the marriage is considered as premarital or non-marital property, not subject to division. There may be exceptions in annulment cases where fraud is proven, but as a general rule, engagements rings are typically non-marital
Contact a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney Today
If you have received gifts during the course of your marriage and want to know whether those gifts will be considered marital or non-marital assets during divorce, please call The Lasky Law Firm at 904-399-1644 to speak to a qualified Jacksonville divorce lawyer.