Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Doreen Yaffa

Items of Importance: Jewelry, Handbags, and Shoes in a Divorce

Agreements, Collaborative Divorce, Divorce

Divvying up marital assets can be one of the most stressful and worrisome tasks during a divorce, especially if you own designer jewelry, handbags, or shoes.

Previously Owned Items
If you can prove that you owned jewelry or expensive items before the marriage, they may be excluded from the inventory when it comes time to tally up the total marital assets to split them between you both. When this occurs, these items are called “separate property,” and they are not counted into the mix. Belongings that fall into this category may be things you purchased yourself or gifts given to you by family or friends.

If your spouse or other people gift you items like designer handbags or shoes during the marriage, they may also be classified as separate property; however, it may be more difficult to prove. Some things to keep in mind when determining how the court will see it are:

  • When did you acquire the jewelry, handbag, or shoes?
  • Do you have written evidence that you had before the marriage, or was it given to you as a gift during the marriage?
  • How did you acquire the item, or was it gifted to you?
  • If your spouse gave it to you, does he or she consider it to be “yours” alone?
  • Do you have a picture of yourself wearing/using the item?

When it comes to divorce, it is less about the truth and more about what you can prove. If you have a pre-marital agreement listing any items you owned before the marriage, you are covered.

Divorce in Florida
Florida is a 50/50 equitable distribution state, meaning that in a divorce, the courts will aim for each party to walk away with approximately half of the marital assets or their equivalent value.

Marital assets include money, property, retirement accounts, profit sharing investments, and valuable personal property. If you or your spouse owns a substantial coin collection, that one item may be quite valuable and factored into the divorce settlement.

In many cases, when separate property is declared marital property during a divorce, the courts or mediator will hire a specialist to come in and appraise items of value such as designer bags, shoes, jewelry, and other collectibles. Before the state can split the marital assets, they need to determine the total value of the marriage.

Some of the other factors that a judge in Florida will consider when determining the division of marital assets are:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • Each spouse’s financial situation and employment.
  • Each spouse’s contributions to the marriage (financial and other).
  • Each spouse’s assets and liabilities.
  • The number of children at home.
  • Each spouse’s mental and physical health.

If you are going through a divorce and own expensive jewelry, designer handbags, or shoes and want to know how your divorce will impact your ownership of these items, contact Yaffa Family Law Firm today to find out all you need to know.


About the Author

Ashley-Ackerman-e1576267027331-150x150 Items of Importance: Jewelry, Handbags, and Shoes in a DivorceDoreen Yaffa, Board Certified Divorce Attorney Founder and Managing Partner of Yaffa Family Law Group. She is one of a handful of divorce attorneys in South Florida who is board certified in Marital and Family Law. Doreen Yaffa earned her board certification in 2001 and has remained a member of The Florida Bar in excellent standing throughout her career.