Separating items

If the business was purchased after the marriage date, then it is half yours unless you signed an agreement. Any finacial accounts should be divided as a marital asset. If that is not worth fighting in court over, then you need to at least consult an attorney and get an agreement signed.
If the items that he brought into the marriage were given to the marriage as a gift, as it seems your items were, then they would now be marital property and divisible under ED.

Isn’t bringing it into the marriage a gift. What has to be stated for it to be a gift? How do you determine if it was a marital gift? We owned one home and moved into another. Does that make it a gift?

If you guys have been married for 7 years, and have been in 2 different houses with the furniture/belongings he brought into the marriage, then I see that as a ‘gift’. If he had all this stuff in storage somewhere because he wanted it to be separate, then MAYBE I would see that as not being a gift. OR maybe a sentimental piece or 2.

It’s ludicrous to think he can claim all the belongings/furniture HIS. I call horse-pucky on that. [;)]

Agreed. The items were given into the marriage when they were used by you and your family in the marital home while you were married. The things I would consider as separate would be collectable items that were purchased prior to the marriage, furniture or family heirlooms, or any item that was kept solely in his possession and was never used by you or had your name finacially associated with it such as a car.
It doesn’t have to be stated that it’s given to the marriage, but if you sold your furniture and kept his then you both contributed to the marriage. You with the money from the sale of your furniture and he with the furniture.

How is something deemed a “gift?” I actually had stated several times to sell the furniture and get new to make our home OUR home with OUR things. He convinced me not to because everything is good condition and new and that would be a waste of money-blah blah, yet he fought me to keep the bedroom outfit he and his xwife had because he WANTED to keep it. Not worth the constant fight(you can never win with this type). Btw, he was married 2x prior to me(my first marriage). Seems to me he had this in the back of his mind all along…especially since he was a lying cheating snake the whole time. I don’t understand how when I give him every dime I ever had, sold 2 houses to contribute to OUR marital income and purchase a 2nd company…this is marital asset…but he wants EVERTHING he purchased prior to marriage. I would think that a marriage and what you have is a gift to that marriage unless a contract is written, not the other way around.

I believe you are right. Unless he has some lawyer telling you that the items before marriage are his only, then you assume the house content brought into the marriage is a ‘gift’. Also, if you helped buy a new business with your husband, then that’s part yours too. He’s not going to walk away with everything. I think he’s verbally intimidating you.

Talk to your lawyer about this. There may need to be some investigation on the worth of the business. Do you have record of monies you invested in the business?

I would go see a lawyer immediately.

If you sold the assets you had prior to marriage and used those proceeds to buy new assets, then the new assets are also your separate property. For example, if you sell your pre-marital couch and use the money to buy a table, the table is your separate property.

If the money was used to start his business then it might be considered a gift to the marriage. You are legally entitled to half the value of the business.

P.S. Please feel free to bring up this or any other topic on our live call-in show every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. EST. Visit for details

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

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I have heard you get to keep what was yours before marriage. Here is my situation. My husband kept everything he had prior to marriage and had me sell EVERYTHING. He had been married 2x prior to ours and I believe was covering ground for just incase. I wanted to keep some of my things but the fight wasn’t worth it. We even kept his bedroom outfit from previous marriage. I have absolutely nothing left from prior to marriage. He has tons. Now he wants all premarital items back. He has ALL my money from prior marriage and put it into his business(which he says I cannot have any of–bought after marriage).
So, do I have to give the items to him? I can’t replace a thing because he has all our money and assets tied up in the business. We also need to sell the house and it would look much better to sell a house with items rather than without. This seems quite unfair to me. We had been married almost 7 yrs and he had numerous affairs. Not sure if this matters. Also, we have young children