Can I keep gifts in a divorce?

happy couple exchanging a gift

One of the most contentious issues spouses face during divorce is property distribution. During a divorce, you may worry about how your assets will be divided between you and your former spouse as it can affect your overall financial security. Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state. This means the court will divide the assets acquired during the marriage fairly, but not necessarily equally. Generally, this can lead to an unfavorable division of assets as one spouse may receive a larger share of marital property if the court deems it appropriate. To protect your finances, it is in your best interest to acquire the legal services of one of our skilled Bristol County Division of Assets Attorneys who can help you navigate the intricacies associated with this legal process. Keep reading to discover how the division of assets is handled in a Massachusetts divorce and whether gifts are considered marital or separate property. 

How are gifts handled during the division of assets in a divorce?

As mentioned above, Massachusetts is an equitable distribution state. Essentially, this means that marital property is divided in whatever way the court deems is fair rather than automatically granting an equal 50/50 split. Martial property is considered any assets that were accumulated during the marriage. Separate property is any assets that were accumulated outside of the marriage. These assets are not up for division. Typically, marital property includes any income or property that was acquired during the marriage.

The courts consider several factors to determine a fair division of marital property. The following include but are not limited to the factors a judge will consider to determine a fair division of assets:

  • The age of each spouse
  • The physical and mental health of each spouse
  • The length of the marriage
  • Each spouse’s income and earning capacity
  • Each spouse’s financial obligations
  • Each spouse’s conduct during the marriage
  • Each spouse’s education

In most cases, the judge will divide marital assets fairly equally. However, in some cases, the court will grant one spouse a larger portion of marital property if the other spouse negatively impacts the family financially. Further, the court may consider separate property when determining the division of assets. In some cases, gifts can be considered either marital or separate property. If the gift was given to their spouse by the other spouse, the gift will usually be considered marital property. Similarly, if the gift was given to both spouses it is a marital asset. However, when a gift is given from a non-spouse, these assets are usually considered separate property which are exempt from divorce.

For more information on how marital assets are divided in a divorce, please contact one of our adept and determined team members. Our firm is committed to helping our clients protect their hard-earned assets. Allow our firm to represent your interests today!