David P. Badanes, Esq.

If you give your spouse a gift, during the marriage, it is considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution. Therefore, for example, if you give your spouse, lots of jewelry, or even one expensive piece of jewelry, the jewelry is considered marital property. Jewelry is just one example of a gift that is covered under this rule. Any property, real or personal, given as a gift during the marriage, is considered marital property. Other examples, could include, furs, land, vacation homes, stock, or automobiles.

However, “equitable distribution”, does not necessarily mean “equal distribution.” Therefore, although, a Court could rule that the value of the property will be split 50% to each party, the Court could also rule that you receive 0% to 100% of the value of the property. The Court’s determination would be based on the equities of the case. For example, if you gave an expensive diamond necklace to your spouse 20 years ago, the Court may rule that you should receive a very small percentage of its value. In contrast, if you gave the same diamond necklace only a year ago, then the Court may rule that you deserve 50% of its value. Each item and each case could lead to very different results.

In any case involving a gift, you have to demonstrate when the gift was given and its value. If you cannot demonstrate that the gift was given, during the marriage, your spouse may claim that the gift was given to them prior to the marriage. Any gifts given, prior to the marriage, would be considered separate property, and the person receiving the gift would be able to keep the full value of the gift.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have assisted several individuals in obtaining a divorce. If you live in Long Island (Suffolk or Nassau Counties) or in New York City, and are thinking of getting a divorce, call the Badanes Law Office today at: 631-239-1702, email us at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.

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