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Can I keep my expensive jewelry when divorcing?

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2020 | Divorce

Gifts generally classify as separate property during a divorce. This could include expensive jewelry, which you may keep under New Jersey’s divorce laws. Jewelry purchased during a marriage, however, typically belongs to both spouses.

Property and assets acquired with income from a shared household require division when divorcing. New Jersey divides assets fairly between two spouses based on value. You may, however, “trade” property with your spouse depending on each individual’s needs.

For example, if you purchased expensive jewelry during your marriage, you could take ownership by agreeing to allow your ex-spouse to maintain possession of a sports car. Gifts and inheritances, however, remain in your possession as your separate property.

What happens to the wedding ring?

A wedding ring could cause friction between soon-to-be ex-spouses. If your spouse gave you an expensive wedding ring, he or she most likely purchased it with separate funds before your marriage. Generally, property purchased with separate funds belongs to the spouse who bought it.

A ring, however, signifies a promise to marry, and some courts may consider going through with a marriage as fulfilling an obligation. Because you fulfilled a promise to your spouse, the ring now belongs to you, according to Forbes magazine.

Is it too late to create a prenuptial agreement?

An individual may discover an expensive ring used to propose marriage is actually a family heirloom that a spouse wants back. Accordingly, a prenuptial agreement may include instructions on whether you keep your ring or return it if the marriage dissolves.

If you find yourself questioning property ownership during a marriage, creating a postnuptial agreement may help. Like a prenup, spouses agree on how to categorize who takes separate ownership of property and assets obtained during a marriage. A divorce court generally upholds a written agreement when both spouses have signed it.


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