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What has to be divided? Jewelry, presents...???

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Anonymous Asked:

I'm wondering if my husband received a settlement while we were only dating and that money was put into a joint account, was used to purchase an engagement ring, pay for a wedding, honeymoon, cars, etc and seven years later after 5 years of marriage he just left me, how is the money in the accounts divided? Would he be entitled to receive the whole amount? The money in the accounts don't even add up to half of what he received, and he never treated it as his money, he always let me have access to it. Also jewelry he gave me as birthday presents, and the engagement ring, are those mine or do they have to be divided?

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Stuart Zukerman
5 years ago

Although the Family Law Act of B.C. does provide for the exclusion of pre-relationship savings & investments from the presumption of an equal division, the case law so far makes it clear that it is only where those pre–relationship funds can be directly traced into the equity of an asset that exists at the date of separation. In your case it would be highly unlikely that your husband would succeed on gaining any recognition of money that was spent in the manner you describe. Gifts (such as the engagement ring and birthday or Christmas presents etc), are not subject to division – they are presumed to be the excluded property of the recipient of those gifts.

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