Are Gifts From Extended Family Members Marital Property?
If you get divorced, then you have to divide your marital property with your ex-spouse, but you get to keep your separate property. Florida is an equitable distribution state, so you don’t have to divide the marital property in half; instead, you can agree with your spouse on how to divide it, or the court will divide it in a way that allows both parties to maintain their pre-divorce standard of living as much as possible. It doesn’t matter who earned what; almost all property acquired during the marriage counts as marital. (If this were not the case, then divorce would almost always leave stay-at-home parents penniless.) Meanwhile, inherited assets, lawsuit settlements, and gifts to one spouse are that spouse’s separate property. If you treat a separate asset as a marital asset, such as depositing gift money into a joint bank account or moving into an inherited house with your spouse, it becomes marital property. If you received financial support from a family member during your marriage, and this is causing complications in your pending divorce, contact a Boca Raton property division lawyer.
Husband Refuses to Accept Mother’s Gift Until Divorce Becomes Final
For the first 14 years of their marriage, David and Linda lived in New Jersey, where he worked for the Campbell Soup Company, and David was earning $103,000 by the time he stopped working there. The appeals court’s decision does not specify why he left, but the fact that, by the time the court issued its decision, his earnings had consistently been lower than that indicated that he was either laid off or left the job to move his family to Florida for reasons unrelated to work.
After moving to Florida, David worked for Tropicana for two years before being laid off in 2009. His 2009 income was $82,300. Meanwhile, after the family moved to Florida, David’s mother gave him about $10,000 per year, presumably so everyone could save money on taxes pursuant to the annual gift tax exclusion. In May 2010, his mother gave him a check for $85,000 as an advance on his inheritance, which he deposited in his and Linda’s marital bank account. Several days later, Linda filed for divorce, and David wrote a check to his mother, refunding the money.
During David and Linda’s divorce, Linda accused David of dissipating marital assets by returning the advance inheritance money after finding out that the parties were getting divorced. The parties also disagreed about whether the other gift checks of David’s mother were marital property. In the end, the appeals court ruled that David had not dissipated marital assets, since Linda had also taken $85,000 out of a marital bank account at about the same time as David wrote the check to his mother. It also ruled that the other gifts from his mother were separate property.
Contact Schwartz | White About Divorcing a Mama’s Boy
A South Florida divorce lawyer can help you divide your marital property equitably if gifts from family members account for a substantial portion of your marital assets. Contact Schwartz | White in Boca Raton, Florida about your case.