Q: Who has the rights over items legally in a break up?
To whom it may concern. I have a general question with regards to personal property as a resolve in a relationship break up. There are certain items that the other party is unwilling to return that hold either monetary or personal value to me, which include, but are not limited to, jewelry and a laptop. I have the original receipts proving the original purchase on my statements, as well as communication proof that the other party is not cooperating with returning this items.
A: This is actually a Consumer Law question, and a very important question it is. The question is: "When you are living together in a relationship (not marriage) what are each person's property rights?" The rules in Family Law provide some insights but don't cover everything. First, if it was property that you brought to the relationship, like your mother's china, and you did not specifically gift it, it still belongs to you. If you bought it during the relationship, and did not specifically gift it, it still belongs to you. If you bought it jointly, then it is 50-50 and you may have to make a list of things like this and decide who gets what on the list, trying to make the values equal- or you could sell everything and split the money. If it was a gift to the two of you, it goes on the list.
But what about something that you brought and gave to your Significant Other? Well, a gift is complete at the moment it is delivered and the ownership (title) to it passes to the other person, irrevocably (in the absence of Fraud). So if you gave your SO that set of Baccarat champagne glasses, you don't get them back they belong to the SO. If you gave her your mother's engagement ring, and this was not in exchange for a promise to marry, you aren't legally entitled to it. Even an engagement ring, you may not be legally entitled to. Laptop- don't get hung up on it, they can be replaced, you just need the date in it. It is like getting fuzzy over a set of tires- they don't last forever and there are lots of the same brand available.
THE OPINIONS STATED HEREIN ARE BASED ON THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THE QUESTION,WITHOUT ANY INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION. DO NOT RELY ON FREE LEGAL ADVICE IN A PUBLIC FORUM, EVEN MINE. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR CHOOSING IN YOUR LOCAL AREA TO PROTECT YOUR IMPORTANT PERSONAL RIGHTS. THIS DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY/ CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN US.
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