With the holidays having come to end and Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I want to address whether or not gifts made during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution in a divorce proceeding.
In the State of New Jersey, inter-spousal gifts made during the marriage are subject to equitable distribution. However, gifts made by third parties to a married couple may or may not be subject to equitable distribution and depends upon the intent of the third party. If the third party intended to gift the item to the couple, the gift is considered to be in the pot for purposes of equitable distribution. However, if the third party intended the gift to be made to only one party and not the other party, the gift is excluded from equitable distribution.
With respect to gifts made by third parties, if you are the third party, maybe a parent, who is looking to make a gift to their son or daughter, who is married, be specific as to your intent as to not raise doubt in the future.