Se Habla Español
Siragusa Law Firm Logo

Are Presents Subject to Division in New Jersey Divorce?

Get Your Consultation Now
pink present with gold confetti

Generally, one of the most problematic areas of divorce for many couples is the distribution of their assets. In New Jersey, property obtained during the marriage is divided equitably, meaning it is not automatically split evenly between the spouses. Several factors influence how these assets are divided. Additionally, many spouses may wonder whether or not presents obtained during the marriage are subject to division or if they can retain full ownership. If this reflects your circumstances, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how Somerset County property distribution attorneys can help you navigate these complex matters.

How Are Assets Divided in New Jersey?

When going through a divorce, understanding how your assets will be divided is critical to planning for the future. In general, only property obtained during the marriage is subject to distribution. These assets, known as marital property, are any assets, like real estate or funds, that either partner purchased after being legally married when they file for divorce. This differs from separate property, which is obtained before the marriage or during the marriage so long it is kept entirely separate from the other spouse.

It is also important to note that separate property can become marital property if co-mingled. For example, if you purchased a rental property before your marriage and used funds from a joint bank account to pay for an addition to the property, it would likely now be deemed marital property since joint funds were used to pay for a portion of the real estate.

Are Presents Subject to Equitable Distribution?

Whether or not a gift will be distributed between spouses depends on whether or not the courts deem it marital or separate property. In most instances, if only one spouse is gifted an asset from an outside party and keeps it separate, it will not be subject to distribution. However, if it is co-mingled, it can be considered marital property.

If the present is exchanged between spouses, it is considered marital property. For example, if a husband gifts his wife a diamond necklace, it will be divided during the divorce. However, this does not mean the wife must return the gift. Instead, it will be appraised, and its value will be considered when distributing property.

Is There Anything Else I Should Consider?

If you wish to prove a gift is separate property to avoid splitting it, it is your responsibility to meet the burden of proof that this item was a gift solely for you. Proof can include a check made out to your name only or a card addressed to only you and not your spouse.

Going through a divorce is challenging enough without having to worry about whether or not sentimental presents will be taken from you. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to discuss your circumstances. At the Siragusa Law Firm, we understand how complex these matters can be, which is why our dedicated legal team will fight for you to keep the property you are entitled to. Reach out to our firm today to discuss your circumstances in further detail.

Read Our Latest Blog Posts