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Are Gifts Considered Separate or Marital Property?


In a Florida divorce, the division of property between spouses can be one of the most complex and emotionally wrought aspects of the entire process. As an equitable distribution state, each spouse is entitled to a portion of the marital estate that is considered equitable, but not always equal. As such, the identification of separate and marital property can have a significant impact on the assets that you walk away with after the divorce is finalized. While some property is easily identifiable as separate or marital property, what about gifts? For help with these complicated divorce issues and more, call or contact the law office of Blair H. Chan, III in Tampa today to schedule an initial consultation of your case.

Separate and Marital Property

During the divorce process, all assets and debts are identified as either separate or marital property. Under Florida law, separate property is all property acquired by a spouse prior to the marriage that was brought with them into the marriage. Marital property is identified as all assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage, with a few significant exceptions. One of the main exceptions to the marital property rule are gifts.

 Identifying Gifts as Separate or Marital Property 

As an exception to the marital property rule, gifts made to one spouse by a third party are considered separate property in a Florida divorce. This could be a gift of personal property, like a new golf set, or a monetary gift like a check from your aunt after graduation. So long as the gift is kept separate from the marital estate, it is considered separate property in a divorce. However, if the gift is used to improve a marital asset or becomes commingled in some other way, the separate gift may be converted into marital property during a divorce.

In addition, gifts made from one spouse to the other during the course of the marriage may also not meet the exception of separate property in a divorce. Gifts made from one spouse to the other are typically purchased with marital funds, which can make the gift part of the marital estate. If the gift was purchased with separate property by one spouse and given to the other, it may still be considered part of the marital estate because the separate property used for the purchase could be considered commingled for the purposes of making the gift. This area of divorce law can be particularly complicated, so it is important that you speak with an experienced Florida divorce attorney about your case if gifts factor into your property distribution discussions. 

Call or Contact the Office Now 

For help with property distribution, alimony, child custody, child support, and other complex divorce matters, Tampa divorce lawyer Blair H. Chan, III is here to help. Call the office or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced Florida divorce attorney today.




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