Question #68: A friend of mine has been married for 8 months. she is getting a divorce. Is her engagement ring considered marital property? her grandfather gave her and her husband $25,000 when they got married. This is marital property, correct?

The engagement ring is a tricky question. If it is an asset acquired by the Bride- Wife prior to marriage and not during marriage as some courts have said, it is individual property and not Marital property. Other courts have said, however, it was given in anticipation of marriage and its transfer is understood to be conditioned upon the completion of the marriage and therefore only becomes hers after the marriage is completed, and thus marital property. Best thing is to split the value if there is an argument about it. The gift of the $25,000 depends on whether it was given to both of them or only to one, whether the funds were kept in a separate account in one name or co-mingled with marital money. Your friend should seriously consider mediating the divorce. It will save money, time and anguish. If she lives in the greater NYC area, have her call me at 212-370-1660.I can help.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions