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Cases of Interest: Gifts
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

ARIZONA: Hrudka v. Hrudka, ___ Ariz. ___, 919 P.2d 179 (Ct. App. 1995).
Jewelry that the husband purchased was not necessarily a gift to the wife, rather than an investment, simply because he physically handed over the items to her and she sometimes wore them.
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ARKANSAS: Bishop v. Bishop, ___ Ark. App. ___, 961 S.W.2d 770 (1998).
The husband made a valid gift to the son of a certificate of deposit, so the account was not marital property. Parents frequently establish accounts for their children and then fight over the classification of the money when their marriage ends. Williams v. Williams and Bishop v. Bishop both support the view that an account in the name of a child is not marital property.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Bartolo, 971 P.2d 699 (Colo. Ct. App. 1998).
The parties' former marital residence was the wife's separate property where the husband gave his interest in the property to the wife shortly before the parties separated.
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GEORGIA: Avera v. Avera, ___ Ga. ___, 485 S.E.2d 731 (1997).
The husband established an irrevocable trust before the marriage and conveyed to it legal title to a home. During the marriage, the parties lived in the home. At the husband's direction, the trust then conveyed the home into the sole title of the wife.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Gattone, 317 Ill. App. 3d 346, 739 N.E.2d 998 (2000).
The husband failed to rebut the presumption that he intended to make a gift of marital property, including the marital residence, to the wife. Here, the couple met in 1994 and married in 1995. The husband filed a petition for dissolution in June 1998, and the wife filed her own petition for dissolution in July 1998.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Johns, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 724 N.E.2d 1045 (2000).
Real property owned by the wife prior to the marriage were gifts of the marital estate.
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INDIANA: In re Marriage of Hendricks, 681 N.E.2d 777 (Ind. Ct. App. 1997).
Stock which was the subject of an irrevocable gift by the wife to the parties' son under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act was not marital property, and the wife's share of marital property did not have to be charged with the amount of marital funds which she used to acquire the stock for the son.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Vanderpol, 529 N.W.2d 603 (Iowa Ct. App. 1994).
Stock which the husband received from his mother was a gift and not a marital asset.
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MAINE: Williams v. Williams, 706 A.2d 1038 (Me. 1998).
Funds in a savings account in the name of the parties' minor child could not be classified as marital property.
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MINNESOTA: Olsen v. Olsen, 552 N.W.2d 290 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996).
Real property which was conveyed to the parties as joint tenants by the wife's uncle was marital property.
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MISSISSIPPI: Myrick v. Myrick, 739 So. 2d 432 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999).
Interspousal gifts given to the wife by the husband were held to be marital property.
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MISSOURI: Hughes v. Hughes, 994 S.W.2d 103 (Mo. Ct App. 1999).
A gift to both spouses is presumed to be marital property; however, marital debt is not marital property. The mere erroneous declaration by the trial court of what is marital property does not require a reversal where the divorce decree is otherwise fair.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Smith, 892 S.W.2d 767 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995).
An error in classifying property does not require reversal unless the distribution of property amounted to an abuse of discretion.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Davis, ___ Mont. ___, 986 P.2d 408 (1999).
The statutory criteria for dividing marital property in a dissolution proceeding is the same whether the marital property was received by gift or by inheritance.
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NEVADA: Schmanski v. Schmanski, ___ Nev. ___, 984 P.2d 752 (1999).
Stock that the husband received was transmuted into community property by a clear set of facts.
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NEW YORK: Van Dyke v. Van Dyke, ___ A.D.2d ___, 709 N.Y.S.2d 672 (2000).
The evidence was insufficient to show that the wife contributed to any increase in the value of the property that the husband had inherited from his mother, but the wife was entitled to one-half of the husband's retirement account.
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NEW YORK: Ciaffone v. Ciaffone, ___ A.D.2d ___, 645 N.Y.S.2d 549 (1996).
Items of jewelry given to the wife by the husband during the marriage were correctly classified as marital property.
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NEW YORK: McGarrity v. McGarrity, ___ A.D.2d ___, 622 N.Y.S.2d 521 (1995).
Funds inherited by the husband remained his separate property even though he deposited them into the parties' joint accounts, where he made the deposits for the sake of convenience and not with donative intent.
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NEW YORK: Damato v. Damato, ___ A.D.2d ___, 626 N.Y.S.2d 221 (1995).
Money received from the husband's parents and placed in a joint account was a gift to both parties and hence marital property.
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NEW YORK: Chase v. Chase, ___ A.D.2d ___, 618 N.Y.S.2d 94 (1994).
The husband was entitled to share equally in the value of the diamond ring which he had given to the wife.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Burnett v. Burnett, ___ N.C. App. ___, 471 S.E.2d 649 (1996).
A lot transferred to the husband by his mother was the husband's separate property, since the wife failed to rebut the presumption of gift arising from the transfer.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Davis v. Sineath, ___ N.C. App. ___, 498 S.E.2d 629 (1998).
A residence titled as a tenancy by the entirety was marital property, but the use of the husband's separate funds to purchase and renovate the property justified awarding it to him, especially considering the very short duration of the parties' marriage.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Guilford County By and Through Child Support Enforcement Agency v. Easter, ___ N.C. ___, 473 S.E.2d 6 (1996).
In the case of Guilford County By and Through Child Support Enforcement Agency v. Easter, ___ N.C. ___, 473 S.E.2d 6 (1996), the Supreme Court of North Carolina held that in determining the proper award of child support, the court may consider support provided by grandparents.
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OKLAHOMA: Larman v. Larman, 199 OK 83, 991 P.2d 536 (1999).
The wife's presumptive interspousal gift of her separate inherited real property to the husband can be and was rebutted by evidence. In addition, the husband should be allowed to present evidence of the enhancement of value.
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OKLAHOMA: Earnheart v. Earnheart, 979 P.2d 761 (Okla Civ. App. 1999).
A gift of stock to the couple during the marriage by the husband's mother was joint property subject to equitable distribution.
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OKLAHOMA: Dixon v. Dixon, 919 P.2d 28 (Okla. Ct. App. 1996).
Classifying the wife's jewelry as marital property rather than as her separate property was not an abuse of discretion, where the evidence was conflicting about how the jewelry pieces were acquired.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Budge, 150 Or. App. 209, 945 P.2d 1101 (1997).
The trial court did not err in adopting the values reported to the Internal Revenue Service as the value of stock shares gifted to the husband during the parties' marriage.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Landsem, 144 Or. App. 555, 927 P.2d 625 (1996).
Funds that the wife received from her mother during separation should have been treated as a gift rather than as a marital debt.
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TENNESSEE: Dunlap v. Dunlap, 996 S.W.2d 803 (Tenn. Ct App. 1998).
The husband had the burden of proving that gifts from his father were his alone and not gifts to the couple jointly.
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TENNESSEE: Hansel v. Hansel, 939 S.W.2d 110 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1996) (released 1997).
Certificates of deposit which were acquired with marital property in the name of the husband and his daughter from another marriage were not proven to be gifts to the daughter so as to be excluded from the marital estate.
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VIRGINIA: Utsch v. Utsch, 28 Va. App. 450, 565 S.E.2d 345 (2002).
The parties were married in 1987. At the time of their marriage, the husband owned a residence that became the marital home. In 1988, the husband executed a deed of conveyance that transferred the property to himself and the wife as tenants by the entirety. The deed of gift provided that the conveyance was made for and in consideration of the love and affection of the husband and wife and was to be exempt from the recordation tax. The parties separated in 1998.
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VIRGINIA: Theismann v. Theismann, 22 Va. App. 557, 471 S.E.2d 809 (1996).
The trial court was not plainly wrong in concluding that the husband intended to make a gift when he placed assets in joint title with the wife, and the decision to make a relatively equal distribution of the gifted property did not constitute an abuse of discretion despite the short duration of the marriage.
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VIRGINIA: Lightburn v. Lightburn, 22 Va. App. 612, 472 S.E.2d 281 (1996).
The short duration of the parties' marriage did not justify awarding the wife one-half of the value of real property that the husband conveyed into a tenancy by the entirety two months before the parties' separation.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of White, No. 23917-5-II (Wash. Ct. App. Mar. 28, 2001).
The court held that the trial court had mischaracterized property.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Pratt v. Pratt, ___ W. Va. ___, 475 S.E.2d 102 (1996).
The trial court erred in departing from the presumption of equal division for the parties' marital home, which had been purchased with funds gifted to the parties jointly by the wife's father.
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WISCONSIN: Preuss v. Preuss, ___ Wis. 2d ___ , 536 N.W.2d 101 (Ct. App. 1995).
The offspring of a dairy herd which the wife received as a gift before the marriage were not themselves "gifts" which should have been treated as the wife's separate property.
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