Divorce, Separation and Your Gold Jewellery. Three Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Assets.

Aug 2, 2021

Divorce, Separation and Your Gold Jewellery. Three Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Assets.

It’s wedding season again. Caterers confirmed. Wedding halls booked. Outfits selected. Expensive jewellery bought. Everyone ready to celebrate the couple starting their life together. A happy marriage with the security of assets such as the family gold if they need it.
 
Unfortunately, some relationships end and couples find themselves discussing their joint wealth.
 
As divorce specialists, our client often ask what happens to their gold jewellery on divorce or separation.  The answer may depend on a tiny piece of paper…your receipt! Many cases involving gold and its ownership fail due to the lack of documentary evidence. So, if you’re gifting or purchasing gold for a wedding or during the marriage, make sure you keep your receipt.
 
Beyond the monetary value of Gold
 
SKB Law is one of the UK’s leading divorce firms used by South Asian professionals. We understand that the value of gold jewellery goes beyond its monetary value. For many families, jewellery represents heritage, culture and financial independence. In South Asian families, the gifting of gold jewellery to a woman from her family or in-laws on marriage is a long-standing practice. As a South Asian woman, our jumka, bangles, or earrings are more than pieces of jewellery. They remind of us of our mothers and grandmothers before us.  The groom’s side of the family also gift jewellery, including heirloom pieces. Items which they may want returned if the relationship ends.
 
Three Steps You Can Take To Protect Your Assets
 
During a divorce, a couple divides their assets as part of the financial settlement. Items such as property, money or jewellery become part of what’s known as the ‘matrimonial pot’. Your gold jewellery could become part of that ‘matrimonial pot’.  
 
Here’s three steps you can take to avoid disputes about jewellery.
 
  1. Speak Up. As early as possible, tell your solicitor about any high value items of jewellery. You may want the item returned because it was a gift or have significant sentimental value. Or you may want it added to the matrimonial pot because it was a gift for both of you.
  2. Keep Your Receipts. Many cases involving gold and its ownership fail due to a lack of documentary evidence. As someone of South Asian heritage, I’m surprised how many families gift their children gold jewellery without keeping any receipts. Clients often remember these expensive gifts much later in a case. Where possible, keep some evidence of what you bought. Make a list of the items you buy. Take photographs. Keep the receipt. A receipt can make a big difference. It can prove when you bought the jewellery, the cost of the item and the weight of the gold. If you have no receipts, get a valuation of the item.
  3. Record The Gift. If you’re giving a gift, make a record of your intention. Is the item a personal gift to your daughter/son? Is it part of the dowry? Is it a gift to the couple in place of property or money to help them set up their new life? Write down your intention on a piece of paper or a document witnessed by a solicitor. Write down whether the item is an heirloom piece that you want returned if there is a divorce or separation.

 

These three simple steps can protect you and help to avoid disputes if the marriage fails. If in doubt get in touch with SKB Law. We offer free 15 minute consultations and are happy to offer further assistance. www.skblawfirm.co.uk

 

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