Dividing Wedding Gifts During Divorce
You are now getting a divorce. You have a lot on your mind and a long list of things to take care of. One of the items on your list is the wedding gifts. Dividing wedding gifts during divorce can be complex. What do people do with their wedding gifts? Do you keep them? Do you divide them between you and your spouse? What should you do? There are some factors that you may want to take into consideration.
One factor will be the length of the marriage. How long have you been with your spouse? If you were recently married and you are getting a divorce after several weeks or less, it may still be possible to return or exchange the wedding gifts. Return gifts, you ask? Yes! Why not? Why would you plan to keep any of the wedding gifts to begin with? The gifts are a symbol of your union and marriage. Would you want to hold on to the gifts that celebrate your union to your spouse that you are trying to separate from? What benefit will there be to keep mementos of your marriage that did not end in a happily ever after?
If you need to do equitable distribution, we can help calculate what’s fair using our advanced software. Assets that are acquired during the marriage are often divided 50/50, but there are exceptions. Property division is stressful, so make sure you get legal advice.
An issue that you may run into with the wedding gifts is a paid trip. Who gets to go? Or should you even go? If the wedding gift is a plane ticket, you may have considered keeping both airline tickets and thought to take someone else instead. However, most airlines no longer accept name changes on an international ticket.
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This means you cannot switch the name on a ticket to another person. If that is the case, then you should each take your ticket, split up the reservation, and change the date respectively, so that you can each choose a time that is better for you to travel (fees and penalties will apply, of course).
If the gift is a hotel and/or some activity, then you may want to consider offering the trip to another couple (i.e., a friend or family member) who you think deserves it and will enjoy it more. Sure you can go on the trip, but will you have fun right now? Probably not. You could also trash the reservation altogether, but why waste a perfectly good gift.
Sometimes when you are going through a difficult time, it feels good to make others happy. When you see how happy you made someone else, you become happy. Happiness is infectious, and when you are happy, you attract more happiness.
Gifts In A Divorce Settlement
Another issue that may arise with dividing wedding gifts during divorce is monetary gifts and property. Money and property can be a difficult and complex matter. If the money has not been used, one could argue about who deserves more or all of it. However, with that being said, it is better to have some pride and dignity in the matter. Make it a simple, clean, and even split.
This is a good way to avoid any unnecessary disputes in an already difficult situation. If neither of you wants the money, then donating the money to a good cause can be an alternative solution. In your difficult situation, why not bring joy into someone’s life who needs it. For more complicated money issues and all matters regard property, please consult your lawyer for your legal rights.
What if the separation is mutual, and neither of you has ill will toward each other. What do you do then? Ideally, you want to move toward the future, not look back on the past. Don’t keep anything you don’t need or symbolizes your marriage. If the gift has been used and is still in good condition, donate it.
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What about the gifts that don’t have any symbolic meaning or don’t remind you of your marriage? You may want to keep these gifts. If the gifts don’t have any words such as, “Just married” or “husband & wife”, then why waste a perfect cushion set or mugs. You will be moving into your own apartment or house and any unnecessary expense can go a long way. You can always replace those items in the near future once you have settled down into your new life.
Our family lawyers can assist you in dividing assets by getting a separation agreement signed. It’s frustrating to divide marital property, but when it has to happen, you need to make sure it’s done correctly.
What Is Considered A Gift In A Divorce?
Now if you have been married for a few years, it may be difficult to let go of your wedding gifts. The gifts have been and are apart of your daily life. These gifts may not hold any specific reminders of your marriage to your spouse. At this point, I would say, if the gift has a purposeful value, keep them. There is no sense in getting rid of an item that is useful. It would be silly to give the item away or throw it out, only to purchase the same item. But if the item reminds you of your spouse and your time together in any way, then get rid of it!
The last difficult decision will be for couples married for 5+ years. You may have gifts that now carry sentimental value. You want to keep the item, but so does your spouse. If the two of you can come to a mutual agreement, then things will be easy.
If you both cannot agree, then definitely have your lawyer help you. Just remember why you want to item. If you want an item just to get back at your spouse or to be spiteful in any way, just let it go. The fastest way to move forward with your life is to let go of your past and any ill will regarding the separation.
Wedding Gifts During Divorce
Traditionally, wedding gifts are items given to a couple to celebrate and commemorate their union with one another. Keeping the gifts, splitting the gifts, donating or throwing out the gifts are some of the options you are considering once a separation is decided. At the end of the day, think about what the gift means to you.
Will you have any use for the gift? Why do you want a gift? Can someone else benefit from the gift? Ultimately, what you decide to do is between you and your spouse. As difficult as it may be, try to be objective and civil about the matter. It will go a long way for you in starting your new life.
Have questions about dividing wedding gifts during a divorce? Call us toll-free at 844-466-6529
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