When a couple makes the decision to divorce, they likely know that any joint property and assets will need to be divided between them. Arrangements for child custody and alimony may even need to be decided. What some Colorado families may not realize is that property division can include jewelry, even if they were received as gifts.
Many divorcing spouses may simply assume that, if jewelry or other high-value items were received as gifts, one gets to keep them. However, those pieces are legally considered part of marital property because they were purchased with marital assets. The value of the jewelry will have to be added into the total assets of the couple and then divided accordingly.
If a spouse wishes to keep a particular item of jewelry that he or she received as a gift, he or she will have to give the other spouse money or another item of the same value. Marital assets can also include real estate, savings accounts or other personal possessions, and all of them are subject to division in divorce. If a gift was given to a spouse by someone outside the marriage, or the spouse has an inheritance that does not include the other spouse as a beneficiary, those items can be kept by the person who received them without being subject to division.
Those who are considering divorce here in Colorado will want to carefully consider the laws around property division if they own particularly valuable pieces of jewelry or other expensive items. Open and honest communication will help all parties involved determine a fair and equitable solution. Soon, everyone will be able to move forward into a brighter future.
Source: wotv4women.com, "Who keeps the jewelry in a divorce?", Gail Saukas, June 16, 2014