How are spousal gifts handled during a divorce?

When you get divorced, you know well that marital assets must be split. There are plenty of things that you and your spouse shared, such as homes, cars, furnishings and basic income. These are going to get divided between the two of you.

That said, there are also plenty of things that you consider your own. Gifts tend to fall into this category. If you were given a gift, you no longer think of it as shared property, but how does the law see it?

Who gave you the gift?

Often, the law does back up this stance on gifts, depending on where they came from. For instance, unless they are commingled and shared during the marriage, inheritances are often viewed as separate property. So are third-party gifts, such as items that your parents give directly to you before they pass away.

As for gifts from your spouse, though, those typically still count as marital property. They did not come from outside of the marriage and therefore you both contributed to the purchase. Just because your spouse bought you an expensive piece of art for Christmas, for instance, doesn’t mean that it belongs exclusively to you. This means your spouse may still have a right to a share of that asset’s value.

Do you know how to divide assets?

As you move toward your divorce, it’s important to know how to divide assets and what steps you’ll need to take. It is critical, especially in a high-asset divorce, that you know exactly what rights you have and how to make sure they are respected.



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