Can I keep gifts in a divorce?
The division of assets is one of the most contentious issues couples face in a divorce as their hard-earned assets are at stake. In New York, when a couple divorces, the court will divide any assets that were acquired during the marriage equitably between both parties. New York is an equitable distribution state which means martial assets are divided fairly, not necessarily equally. Divorcing couples often wonder what types of assets are subject to equitable distribution. Further, they wonder whether gifts are divided during property distribution. Keep reading to learn whether spouses can keep gifts in a divorce. In addition, contact an experienced Nassau County Division of Assets Attorney who can help you protect your assets during a divorce.
How are gifts handled during property distribution?
When a couple divorces in New York, they should try to reach a mutual agreement on property division that meets both of their needs outside of court as they’ll have control over how their assets are split. If a couple cannot reach a mutual agreement on property division, the decision will fall on the judge’s lap. Essentially, the couple will lose control of how their property is divided.
As mentioned above, New York is an equitable distribution state. Under an equitable distribution system, marital property is distributed fairly between both parties. Essentially, assets are not automatically divided in an even 50/50 split. However, the court may grant an equal split if it deems it reasonable. When dividing marital property, the court will consider several factors to determine a fair split of assets. The following include but are not limited to the factors a judge will consider for a fair outcome:
- The length of the marriage
- The age and health of each spouse
- Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
- An alimony award
- Tax consequences to each spouse
- Each spouse’s financial obligations and debts
The court examines several factors to determine a fair division of assets. It is important to note that not all assets are up for division during property distribution. Only certain types of assets are subject to equitable distribution. Separate property is not subject to equitable distribution. Any assets that were accumulated outside of the marriage are considered separate property. Separate property includes assets that were received individually as an inheritance or gift. Therefore, gifts that were given from a non-spouse to a spouse individually are considered separate property and are not subject to equitable distribution. However, if the gift was given by a spouse to a spouse, the gift can be divided during property division. Additionally, if the couple was given a gift from friends or family, the gift can be divided during the division of assets as it was not given to a spouse individually. Generally, gifts from non-spouses are considered separate property and not subject to equitable distribution in a divorce.
For more information on what assets are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce, please contact one of our determined and trusted team members. Our firm is committed to helping our clients reach a favorable divorce agreement.