When you had your wedding, chances are that you were showered with gifts
to furnish and fill your new home with your spouse. Now, if you are getting a
divorce, you may be wondering what to do with all the generous presents that were
given to the two of you so that you could start a life together. It may
seem rude to keep all of the gifts for yourself when they will not be
serving their initial purpose. Etiquette experts say that there are many
different circumstances for divorce and they all will come with a different
solution to this question.
After much debate, most etiquette experts agree that wedding gifts are
not given to the couple conditional upon the success of the marriage.
Because of this,
a divorced couple does not need to return any of the gifts. Couples that remain married for under a year may be more prone to return
the presents because they were gifted recently, but they should not feel
that they are under obligation to do so.
The exception to the rule is if a couple got their marriage annulled. In this situation, it may be viable to return unopened wedding gifts.
If a couple never lived together and therefore never used any of the gifted
items, then this may be a reason to give the gifts back to their original owners.
According the Etiquette School of Ohio, wedding gifts should be treated
like housewarming gifts or promotional gifts. If your loved one received
a promotion at work, and you gave him a gift but he was later fired, you
would not expect to get the gift back. Likewise, if a new family moved
into your apartment complex and you gave them a housewarming gift, but
they moved out shortly after, you wouldn't expect them to give back
Gifts are considered unconditional. While expected, wedding gifts are optional.
If you have more questions about after-divorce etiquette,
talk to a Los Angeles divorce attorney for information!