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The 411 on property division during a divorce

One of the most expensive and valuable pieces of jewelry an individual will have in his or her lifetime is a wedding ring. A married couple will accumulate many assets over the course of their marriage. However, in the event of a divorce, the division of property can be one of the most complicated and challenging tasks the couple will face.

Rhode Island residents hardly have divorce on their brains when deciding on wedding rings for their soon-to-be spouses. While states are divided on what to do with an engagement ring when the marriage does not come to fruition, almost all family courts agree that once a couple is married, the wedding ring becomes the separate property of the wife or person who receives the ring.

However, if the engagement or wedding ring is a family heirloom, then a court may decide that the jewelry goes back to the spouse who initially gifted the ring. This can also be true for other pieces of jewelry, not just a wedding ring.

When a couple decides to get a divorce, a key issue is the property division. An experienced legal professional can help the spouses determine what will be considered marital property and what will be considered separate property. This distinction is important. Property and assets that are found to be marital property, that is property acquired during the time of the marriage, is typically split between the couple. However, property that is considered the separate property of one spouse is awarded to that spouse with no division, though there may be an issue about the appreciation during the marriage.

Divorce is considered one of the most challenging life experiences individuals will have to face. However, with the proper support and guidance, the transition can be less stressful and mark the beginning of a new bright future.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Give Me My Ring Back! (Who Gets the Wedding Rings in a Divorce?)," Sept. 23, 2013

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