Gift to spouse- separate or maritalproperty


#1

If my spouse transferred cash and investments to me, into an account in my name alone, where I have sole authority and I have made all decisions alone (4 years) isn’t this my separate property? How can he now say it is marital property, which he now alleges since we’ve separated?


#2

Whether something is a gift to the marriage can be difficult to discern, and if you go before a judge it will ultimately be up to him or her to make the final call. To shed some light on this, let me start by saying that anything that is earned or acquired during the marriage is marital property, regardless of how it is titled. So if your spouse was taking money he earned during the marriage and giving it to you, it can be considered marital property. Now, the fact that he let you have exclusive control over the funds is a fact that is in your favor. You will need to argue that he simply gifted this out-right to you, while he will argue it is marital property by nature.


#3

Thank you. Do you know of any cases where a spouse has gifted money/account to a spouse, with legal title and full authority to that spouse (years ago), and the courts have ruled the property is marital? Is there any caselaw on this issue?


#4

I am not familiar with any opinions issued by the court of appeals or supreme court discussing this issue directly, although there may be one out there.