Engagement ring/jewelry given as gifts during marriage

How does NC courts deal with personal gifts, i.e., engagement ring that was obviously given to spouse before marriage, personal jewelry that was given as gifts (rings, earrings, necklaces, etc.) for XMAS, birthday, etc.?

not an attorney

The way it was explained to me is that anything given to you prior to marriage, including the engagement ring, is sole and separate property.

But any jewelry given during the marriage, including the wedding bands, are marital property, and subject to distribution. This is also why I couldn’t do anything when my ex pawned my jewelry, even though he did NOT have my permission to sell it - I couldn’t press charges because it was marital. Since I had acquired it during the marriage, it was considered his too, even though it was given to me for birthday, Christmas, etc…

Wedding rings and other jewelry given during the marriage (even if it was gift) are marital property and are subject to equitable distribution. The engagement ring is the separate property of the wife, as it was a gift given to her prior to marriage. That is not factored into the marital estate.

Men’s wedding bands are bought early, there may be many benefits associated with it. It could take some time and careful planning to choose and find the right ring. Matching bands between couples could also delay the process as two opinions now have to merge into one. Picking them out early gives enough time to have them sized and paid for properly. Rings that are bought early will be waiting and available until the special date arrives.

wedding band

How does it work if you upgraded the diamond in your wedding ring? Does the diamond become marital property or just the upgraded amt?

Wedding rings are marital property, engagement rings are separate property.

But what if it is an upgraded diamond? How does that work? We upgraded mine by $3,000. Does that make $1,500 his share?

If it’s a wedding band upgrade, that is completely marital property. If it’s an engagement ring being upgraded, then yes, the upgraded amount could be considered marital property if marital funds were used to enhance the ring.