During our marriage I gave my wife several valuable gold Kruggerand necklaces. We are now negotiating for divorce. She claims that they are hers as they were a personal gift. I bought them as an investment but said she could wear them. Would the court regard them as marital property or just her property ?By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 12 May, 2022
The answer is not clear cut. What determines whether presents given by one spouse to another during the course of their marriage count as marital property to be balanced out between them when they divorce, according to the 1973 Spouses’ Property Relations Law, or not , is the parties’ intention . This is to be learnt from their behaviour and from the particular circumstances.
Several possibilities exist regarding jewellery, even though at first sight it would seem an item intended for personal use, and therefore, unlikely to be regarded as marital property. For example, ‘collectors’ items’ such as Kruggerand coins made into jewellery could be bought as an investment in which case they could be argued as being joint property. However, if such an item is given to mark an occasion such as a birthday or anniversary it is more likely to be regarded as something belonging exclusively to the receiver, rather than being marital property.