About five million people get married in the United States every year. Of the 2.5 million women who get married annually, about 80 percent receive a diamond engagement ring. At the same time, the divorce rate continues to hover around 50 percent. This means that there are feasibly thousands of engagement rings that become a source of dispute in California every year. So how do you divide up the jewelry that has such a high worth, both in a financial and emotional sense?
Unfortunately, as in most areas of family law, there is no one hard and fast rule that determines how jewelry is to be divided in divorce. Determining who is entitled to the jewelry will depend on several factors, including how the jewelry was purchased and given, the reasons for the split, and the laws of the state in which the divorce is taking place.
Because California is a community property state, jewelry division could potentially become more complicated in the state. The family laws of California generally require that community property be divided equally unless there is an agreement to the contrary.
As with most other assets, the couple may have to find a way to divide the jewelry evenly. In many cases, this will entail determining the value of each piece, selling the jewelry and splitting the proceeds. However, because engagement and wedding jewelry can have such strong emotional weight, this can be a difficult step to take.
Don't rush into it if you are not ready, but at the same time, recognize that dealing with these physical items may help you emotionally as you work through your divorce.
Source: Huffington Post, "5 Things To Know About Your Jewelry When Getting A Divorce," Steve Hami, Mar. 20, 2012
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