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3 Things You Should Know About Gifts and Divorce

It’s the holiday season, so that means it’s the most “giving” time of the year! Will all that generosity in the air, it may be difficult to imagine those lavish gifts for your loved ones could ever be the basis of a legal dispute. But unfortunately, in a divorce, gifts are often the subjects of disputes. Here are a few things you should know about those gifts.

Nevada is “Community Property State”

This means that, in the state of Nevada, income and assets acquired after you are married is considered “community property” and is subject to division by the courts. That said, community property doesn’t apply to separate property, or property you owned prior to getting married. Separate property could also include specific property acquired during the marriage, like an inheritance, lawsuit settlement or, you guessed it, gifts.

Gifts May be Disputed

Despite the generosity with which a gift is given, it can come into scrutiny in the case of divorce. For example, if you gave your spouse a beautiful, 4-carat diamond ring when the two of you were happier, you could be hoping to get the sparkler back in your divorce settlement. Chances are, your spouse will argue that the diamond was a gift and therefore is separate property. You might contend that the ring was an investment and therefore a gift to the marriage and should be viewed as community property. The courts will then have to decide what to do with the ring.

Contractual Gifts

One of the biggest gifts one partner can give to another is an engagement ring. But what happens if you receive a beautiful engagement ring, then your generous fiancé calls off the wedding? While a woman (or man) scorned might want to keep the ring out of spite (or for some satisfying cash), this may not be legal. Engagement rings are often viewed as “contractual gifts,” meaning that they are given in the expectation that a marriage will occur. If the marriage does not, the giver of the gift might have a legal right to get the ring back. That said, once the marriage is fulfilled, the contractual agreement is met, and the recipient will likely have a legal right to keep the ring.

Got questions about gifts and divorce? We’re here to help! For now, we’ll wish you a beautiful and uncomplicated gifting season!

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