Whether you had a lavish wedding or a more frugal ceremony, you have some mementos you cherish. These likely include your dress, decorations and wedding ring. Now that you have made the difficult decision to end your marriage, you may be struggling with what to do with your wedding memorabilia.
According to CNBC, wedding mementos can be meaningful even after marriages end in divorce. Before giving away your souvenirs, selling them or setting them on fire, you should know whether your soon-to-be ex-spouse has a legal claim to anything you have saved. After all, if you destroy or part with your spouse’s property, you may face some serious consequences.
Are your mementos marital assets?
The first thing you should consider is whether your wedding keepsakes are marital assets. Marital assets typically include anything you and your spouse acquire during your marriage. Because you purchased your mementos before you walked down the aisle, they are probably exclusively yours. Still, if your husband or wife acquired the memorabilia, he or she may have an exclusive claim to it.
Are your mementos gifts?
Your parents may have bought your wedding dress or other pieces of marital accouterment for you. If your remembrances were gifts someone made specifically to you, they are likely not part of the marital estate. This often becomes relevant when dealing with your wedding ring. Because your spouse gave it to you, your wedding ring is probably separate from your marital estate.
Even if you have a legal entitlement to some or all of your wedding memorabilia, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may want it. Ultimately, you may be able to use your mementos as bargaining chips when going through settlement negotiations.