Are Presents Divided During California Divorces?

pink gift with gold confetti and ribbon

It’s no secret that most people love receiving presents. After all, it’s nice to know someone else thought of you when making a purchase! However, if you are going through a divorce, it’s necessary to understand what will happen to any gifts you received during your marriage. In some instances, they may be subject to distribution. As such, it’s imperative to connect with a Los Angeles division of assets attorney to explore what you can do to protect your property from distribution.

Are Presents Subject to California’s Community Property Laws?

In California, if a couple cannot agree on how to divide their assets, a judge may step in to distribute the assets themselves. As such, they will follow California’s community property laws. Essentially, this means each party in the divorce is entitled to an even split of marital assets.

Marital assets are anything obtained during the marriage. Additionally, separate property may become marital property if co-mingled with marital assets. For example, if you owned a business before your marriage, it is considered separate property. However, if you invest in the business with funds from a shared bank account, your business becomes marital property.

When determining whether or not presents are subject to division, the courts will examine whether or not it is marital property. Generally, any gift you received that was given to you alone from an outside party will remain separate property. This is also true for inheritances. However, if the asset is co-mingled, it will become marital property and be divided during the divorce.

Gifts exchanged between spouses, however, are considered marital property. This does not mean you need to return gifts, though. Instead, they will be valued, and this amount will be factored in when dividing property.

What Else Should I Know About This Process?

If you are going through a divorce and are worried that some presents or gifts received will be considered marital property, taking the necessary steps to protect yourself is critical. Generally, if you can prove the gift was intended only for you and remained separate, you can help prove it is not community property. This could be something like a check written in your name only deposited in a separate account or a card addressed to you telling you and you alone to enjoy the gift.

Additionally, you’ll want to connect with an experienced divorce attorney with the Zitser Family Law Group, APC. Our team understands how complex these matters can be and how frustrating it is to learn that your sentimental gifts could be distributed during a divorce. As such, it’s in your best interest to connect with a member of our experienced team. Contact us today to learn how we can help protect your assets during these difficult times.

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