What happens to marital gifts in an impending divorce?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2018 | Divorce |

One of the nicest things one can do is give a loved one gifts they deserve. However, when things start turning sour, who gets which gifts? This question often is not the first thing one thinks of when a divorce is on the cards, but eventually it springs into mind. Minnesota couples in the midst of a divorce may find out that the answer to this question is not as simple as first thought.

Generally, gifts given to a spouse are seen as marital assets, but certain assets are viewed differently by courts, with a deciding factor being when the gift was given. A good example will be an engagement ring, as it was given to a fiancé before the wedding and would be seen as a gift made before the wedding. However, if alterations are made after the wedding, or it is upgraded after the wedding, it becomes part of the marital assets and could possibly be split equally. It may be important to take cognizance of the fact that Minnesota courts may consider property normally seen as excluded form marital property as included in marital assets when the non-entitled partner is needy.

When borrowing money to buy a car to try and save a shaky marriage, it is important to note that the borrower may be stuck with the payments, while the main user of the car may get to keep the car. Anything bought together, or from a joint bank account, will be seen as marital assets, as well as any funds in a joint account. It may be beneficial to keep inheritance money and other funds out of a joint account, or to each have a separate account.

The fact of the matter is, a consultation with a Minnesota divorce attorney may be the best option to obtain clarity regarding the division of marital property. The laws governing this aspect of divorce are complicated, and a lawyer is in the ideal position to provide guidance and clarity. A lawyer may also be the voice of reason when emotions take over.

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