Should you Return Wedding Gifts After a Divorce?

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 the present. 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!