The shorter the marriage, the more wedding gifts exist that have not yet been integrated into the household.
Sometimes, wedding gifts hold more meaning for one spouse than another, like china and stemware.
Who gets what? How does it get divided? What if your spouse just takes it all?
What on earth do you do with all of the personalized, monogrammed gifts, like that “Jack and Jill Forever” cutting board?!
Let’s analyze divorce and wedding gifts from the following perspectives:
1. Self Help
2. Logical Resolution
3. A Mediated Solution
Each party grabs whatever he or she can as quickly as possible, because most often in divorce cases, self help works. Is it the moral or right thing to do? Sometimes – yes. Other times, no. Occasionally, the other spouse gets the Court involved, and the Court is willing to act.
Do yourself a favor and speak to a highly experienced divorce attorney before resorting to self help.
It wouldn’t be much of a blog if I didn’t take a second to mention common sense. This is where you and your spouse have a chat, make a list, and figure things out without spending thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees just to divide a bunch of possessions that no one cares about except for the two of you.
A Mediated Solution
In cases where splitting couples want to work things out, but cannot do it alone – they hire an experienced divorce mediator. If clients seek assistance in good faith and truly put in the effort, mediators can usually do wonders and help people reach their own agreements.
If you end up at trial, the Court must identify your personal property, classify it as sole or joint ownership, determine its value, and decide how to split it up. A judge might leave things the way they are, make a cash offset (or not), order everything to be sold, or order both parties to consult a mediator/arbitrator to finalize the division.
No matter what, it’s a yucky process. Your divorce attorney will usually make more money in fees than the total value of the personal property.
In short: find a way to figure it out.
Oh, and those monogrammed items? What to do with them? Try charity. Someone who does not have enough money to buy a cutting board is not going to be picky about eating off of Jack and Jill’s wedding gift!
Mediation can save clients a tremendous amount of time, money, and stress. Attorney Harry B. Siegel is a Maryland certified domestic relations. Fill out the form on this page or call 410-792-2300 and let us know how we can help you.