Gifts from third parties to either of the parties in a Rhode Island Marriage during a divorce are normally not considered marital assets unless they are given to both the husband and the wife equally.
However, gifts between spouses are marital assets and are subject to the court's power of equitable division between the parties.
Therefore, if a husband gives his wife diamond earrings valued at $10,000 at Christmas time then at the time of the divorce the wife should expect that the earrings will be considered a marital asset subject to division by the court. Thus the court will determine who should get the earrings or what should be done with them (i.e. such as sale of the earrings and a division of the proceeds).
Rule of Thumb:
Gifts from third parties are usually outside the scope of the court's power of equitable distribution. Gifts between spouses are usually marital assets and subject to the court's power of equitable distribution.
Christopher A. Pearsall, Attorney-at-Law
PEARSALL LAW ASSOCIATES
70 Dogwood Drive, Suite 304
West Warwick, RI 02893
Call Chris at (401) 632-6976 for Your Low-Cost Consultation