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4 questions about jewelry during your divorce

Divorce gives you a lot to think about, from alimony to the kids to your retirement assets.

With so much going on, it's easy to overlook the little things, even if they have an incredible amount of value. It's important to slow down and consider everything carefully.

For instance, perhaps you're fine with the fact that things like cars are considered marital property. You bought them together and you both used them. Of course they belong to both of you.

But what about jewelry? You may feel like all of your jewelry is really yours alone. Your spouse has no use for it. It's not shared in the same way as other assets, so does it have to count as a marital asset? If you want to keep a piece yourself, do you have to pay your ex half of the value or give up another asset that's worth that much?

Perhaps. There are a lot of factors that go into this, but jewelry is often considered a shared asset. Here are four questions you can ask:

  1. When was the jewelry acquired? If it was before the marriage, it may be separate property.
  2. Can you prove it? If your spouse says you bought it with your joint income during the marriage and you say you bought it right before the marriage, can you back it up?
  3. Did someone else give it to you? It may be different if it was passed down from a grandparent, for instance, rather than something you bought yourself.
  4. Does your spouse think of the jewelry as something you own on your own? Did he or she give it to you as a gift?

These cases can be complex, especially when a jewelry collection is a significant marital asset. Be sure you know your rights.

Source: Live About, "Jewelry in a Divorce," Lauren Thomann, accessed Oct. 24, 2017

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