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What happens to gold jewelry during divorce and property division?

Published by Mattias Söderström in category Articles on 12.03.2024
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Divorce is never fun. But sometimes, it’s a fact, essentially inevitable. It might be the only way forward. In such cases, the next step is property division. Your belongings need to be distributed before you can part ways. A common question that arises is what happens to silver and gold jewelry and other personal property. Does it really need to be divided? Let’s find out in this article.

Separate property is not divided

To start with, legally, there are only two types of property during divorce and property division:

  • Separate Property: Items that are “private” and will not be divided. Property can be defined as separate through a prenuptial agreement, gift, or will.
  • Marital Property: All other property.

This seems clear and straightforward, but there’s a “but” here that can become relevant if one of you owns gold jewelry, for example. We’ll get to that shortly.

Let’s first look at what can be considered separate property in this context. It’s not uncommon for gold jewelry, silver jewelry, and other valuables like watches to be passed down from generation to generation. If you’ve inherited a gold watch or gold jewelry from your grandmother, grandfather, or a parent, and the person in question wrote in their will that the item should become your separate property, then your spouse cannot claim their “share” of it in a divorce.

The same applies if the person gave you the item during their lifetime and wrote a gift letter stating that the gift should be yours and yours alone.

A third scenario is if you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse have a prenuptial agreement together. A prenuptial agreement defines which property is separate. It’s not uncommon for items of significant sentimental value, such as gold jewelry, to be included in a prenuptial agreement. If you have one, you get to keep those items when you divorce.

Is personal property divided in property division?

Your most personal items are technically also marital property, but here comes the “but” we initially mentioned. According to Chapter 10, Section 2 of the Marriage Code, each spouse has the right to exclude clothes and “other items” exclusively for personal use from the property division. Personal gifts are also mentioned.

Here, gold jewelry and other pieces of jewelry can certainly be included. They are often personal and can also often have been gifts.

However, there is a limitation. The personal property that you exclude from the property division should be based on reasonableness. That means there must be a certain proportionality between the value excluded and the remaining property.

Let’s take an example of a fairly wealthy couple where both partners have a decent salary and extensive assets. In this context, it’s probably legitimate for the spouses to exclude their respective jewelry and other personal property, even if the value might be far from insignificant.

Now let’s consider another example. Imagine a couple that’s less well-off. They have low-paying jobs and no savings to speak of. However, one of the spouses has a gold piece of jewelry from a previous marriage valued at up to 150,000 kronor. In this situation, the value of the jewelry is not in proportion to the spouses’ economy overall, and it should also be included in the property division.

If you’re unsure about the value of jewelry and other movable property, you can hire an appraiser to conduct an independent valuation. If you’ve already agreed on the division and want to sell gold jewelry and other gold before the property division, you can order a gold envelope from Tavex and get paid directly.

Jewelry rarely needs to be divided in practice

Even if you have gold jewelry and other valuables that turn out not to be exempt from the property division, there’s still a pretty good chance you’ll get to keep them.

A property division is about dividing the value of the marital property between spouses. It’s not about splitting every item in half. For example, you might keep those gold earrings while your spouse keeps their gold watch, or your shared car, just to name a few examples.

If you can’t agree on how to distribute the property, you can apply for a property division executor at the district court, which will likely make the division process smoother.

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Gold price (XAU-SEK)
25928,70 SEK/oz
  
+ 295,70 SEK
Silver price (XAG-SEK)
314,19 SEK/oz
  
+ 10,17 SEK

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