Division of Marital Property: Jewelry

During Maryland divorce, all marital property must go through an equitable division. This means that marital property such as real estate, vehicles, furniture, and essentially all other belongings may be divided to some extent. While each party may not receive 50 percent of the property, everything can potentially be divided, including jewelry that was only worn by one of the spouses. If you have questions about how your jewelry will be divided during divorce, a Pasadena attorney Tara K. Frame can help.

Was the Jewelry Owned Before the Marriage?

When it comes to marital property, anything owned before the marriage remains non marital property. As such, the process of determining whether or not physical objects are marital property is fairly straightforward. For something like a business, it can be more complicated if one spouse owned a business before the marriage that was valued at $50,000 and 10 years later of being married it was worth $1 million. However, because the value of jewelry remains fairly constant, jewelry that was owned before the marriage will be returned to each respective party during divorce. The average engagement ring in 2015 costs over $6,000, according to Smartasset, easily making engagement rings the most valuable piece of jewelry in the typical American household. And because an engagement ring is typically purchased before marriage, it will remain the property of the bride, to whom the ring was gifted. If, however, the engagement ring was purchased during the marriage, the ring was re-worked during marriage, or new gems were added during the marriage, it becomes more complicated because the ring or at least part of its value is not marital property.

Gifts or Inheritance

Eleven percent of brides receive an heirloom wedding ring or engagement ring, according to PR Newswire. One of the only types of property that can be accumulated during marriage that remains non-marital property is that of personal gifts or inheritance. If a gift is meant specifically for one of the spouses, it can remain the personal property of that spouse alone. As such, if one spouse was gifted jewelry that was a family heirloom or was given jewelry by a parent, it can remain theirs alone during divorce. However, proving that the family heirloom gift was specifically meant for that spouse can be difficult. It matters who was giving the gift too. As a husband, it can be difficult to prove that his grandmother’s engagement ring was gifted solely to him, when in fact it was placed on his wife’s finger.

Call Maryland Divorce Attorney Tara K. Frame Today

Many couples who are going through divorce have questions about how their property will be divided, and what is subject to division in the first place. It is crucial to work with an experienced Pasadena divorce attorney to get the answers and to ensure that your best interests are represented during your divorce so that the other party does not walk away with more than their fair share. You need a strong negotiator on your side with intimate knowledge of family law and all aspects of divorce. Do not hesitate to contact the Pasadena divorce attorneys of Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373.