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Wedding Rings: Are They Marital Or Separate Property?

EngagementRing2

During any divorce, the division of assets always has the potential to become a complex and contentious process. Under the equitable distribution laws in Pennsylvania, marital property is divided fairly during a divorce, but that does not always mean property is divided fairly.

It is fairly obvious that some assets are marital property, such as the family home. Others though, are not as easy to classify. Engagement rings and wedding rings are very sentimental pieces of property, even when the marriage did not last. People often want to keep them after divorce, but are unsure of whether that will happen. Below, our Media property division lawyer advises who keeps the wedding rings after divorce.

Marital Property and Gifts in Media

Wedding and engagement rings are usually considered gifts given to spouses and soon-to-be spouses. Generally speaking, any spousal gift received during the marriage is usually considered marital property. There are some exceptions to this, such as inheritances, but they are limited. When one spouse purchases a gift to give to their partner, they generally use marital funds to make the purchase. Under the equitable distribution laws of the state, any assets purchased with marital funds are considered marital property.

Are Wedding Rings Marital or Separate Property?

While spousal gifts are typically considered marital property in Media divorce cases, wedding rings are treated slightly differently. Due to the fact that wedding rings are typically purchased before the wedding, marital funds are not usually used to buy them. Due to this, the courts sometimes view wedding rings as separate property. Still, the issue can become more complicated than that.

If one person purchased both wedding rings, the courts will likely determine that each party can keep their own ring. If each spouse contributed to the purchase of the wedding rings, the court will likely determine that they are marital property. However, each spouse will likely be able to keep their own ring in this scenario.

Are Engagement Rings Marital or Separate Property?

Determining what will happen to the engagement rings is even more complex, as it is largely left to the discretion of the court. Unlike wedding rings, jewelry signifying an engagement are considered conditional gifts. This is due to the fact that they represent a promise to marry and that promise cannot be fulfilled until the wedding has taken place. When viewed in this manner, an engagement ring is considered marital property because it was acquired after the marriage.

Other courts still have deemed engagement rings to be separate property. This is because the gift is given prior to the wedding, often several months or even years before. As such, these courts deem that the person who currently wears the ring can keep it.

Our Property Division Lawyer in Media Can Help You Secure the Settlement You Deserve

Engagement and wedding rings are just two types of assets that significantly complicate property division issues. If you are about to go through a divorce, or the process has already started, our Media property division lawyer at Barbara Flum Stein & Associates can advise on the distribution of your assets and help you secure the full and fair settlement you are entitled to. Call us now at 610-565-6100 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=23&div=0&chpt=33&sctn=1&subsctn=0

legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/LI/CT/HTM/23/00.035..HTM

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