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What happens to gifts during a Tennessee divorce?

Dividing property in a divorce can be one of the most difficult aspects of this process. People have ties to property for many reasons like financial security and sentimentality. There are also situations in which people want to keep certain properties simply because they don't want their ex to have them.

Because of all this and the fact that there is no exact calculation for property division in Tennessee, it can be enormously stressful and frightening to go through this process if you don't know what to expect. For instance, you may be very worried that your ex will walk away with gifts you have received before and during your marriage. But generally speaking, this will not happen.

According to state property division laws, gifts that you alone have acquired before or during your marriage belong to you as separate property (though there are exceptions). This can include jewelry given to you by your spouse, properties given to you by your parents or inheritances left to you as an individual. 

However, it must be proven that any gift given was in fact a gift, was specifically acquired by you and not your union and was not transmuted or changed into marital property. These are elements that can be challenged and disputed by an ex in an effort to have money or assets reclassified as marital property and divided between both people.

Gifts in particular have the potential to mean more to the recipient than other assets. Because of this, it can be crucial that you are aggressive in protecting them and your ownership of them. Whether a gift is monetarily or sentimentally valuable, it can end up being a point of contention in a divorce. However, with legal support and guidance, it can be possible to protect separate property and keep it out of the division process.

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