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Can I keep my jewelry my spouse gave me when we divorce?

| Feb 14, 2020 | Property Division |

If you’re preparing to get divorced, then you may be concerned about what’s going to happen to your property such as your home, car and bank account once everything’s finalized. Those will generally be divided up between you and your spouse per Florida equitable distribution laws. You may wonder what happens to the property such as your wedding ring though. You may be curious as to whether that’s considered a separate or marital asset, especially since it was given to you as a gift by your spouse.

Engagement and wedding rings generally remain the property of the individual that they were gifted to. This is the case regardless of its value.

There are general exceptions to this rule though. Engagement rings are viewed as conditional gifts. Your future spouse may be able to sue you for the return of the ring if you decide not to marry them. It’s quite rare for a judge to order such a tradeoff though.

This has most commonly occurred in instances in which the engagement or wedding ring that a spouse gifted was a family heirloom. Judges in these types of cases have ruled that the ring needed to be returned to the family to which it originally belonged.

It’s more common for judges to rule in favor of the recipient of the ring though. It generally doesn’t matter why your wedding was called off, even it’s because someone cheated. Judges often see the ring as a gift, albeit a conditional one. The court generally doesn’t ask recipients to give back what they were given.

If you have any other jewelry that your spouse has given you for your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or your anniversary, then it’s unlikely that your Florida spouse can request that those be returned to them either.

One of the first things that divorcing couples need to do as they look to file for divorce is to inventory all their assets and debts. Husbands and wives should designate what property falls under separate and marital umbrellas. This will allow a judge to quickly guide them in settling their divorce.

Your attorney can help you delineate between one type of asset and another one and even help you broker a deal with your ex about how they should be handled in your case.

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