I look at people’s financial situations during divorce cases every week. One area that couples going through divorce can easily create financial errors at, is evaluating jewelry. Sometimes that is to your benefit and sometimes not. But it is important that you understand how the law views jewelry in a divorce matter and evaluate your case in the best light possible.
Often the majority of the jewelry a couple owns is for the benefit of the wife, but not always. I have had plenty of male clients who have meaningful investments in jewelry — especially in watches.
I can’t tell you how often I have heard from women client’s upset when I explain that jewelry given to them by their husband during marriage is a marital asset and that it should be valued for the purposes of distribution. The law sees jewelry as an asset no different than most other assets you might own. Florida Statute 61.075 clearly states that all gifts given from one spouse to another during the marriage are considered a marital asset.
Part of the divorce process involves a two-step evaluation of each asset a couple owns. The first step is to determine if the asset, such as jewelry, is martial (or belongs solely to one person). The second step is to determine its value.
What Can You Do If You Love Your Jewelry?
Usually people are attached to their jewelry. If so, the wife usually keeps her jewelry and the husband gets something else of value he would prefer as an offset (ie, jet skis, tools, motorcycle, etc.).
Ladies, there is one big exception! Your engagement ring! As long as you received your engagement ring prior to the date of marriage, it is earned and belongs to you as your separate pre-marital property the day you get married.