Are Breast Implants Marital Property?

On behalf of Ronald H. Kauffman, P.A. posted in Equitable Distribution on Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

Division of property, the dividing up of marital assets and debts, can be big problems in a divorce. Often, attorneys bring complicated business valuations and other complex assets to a court for decision . . . but not always.

What about the value of breast augmentation surgery – paid for with marital funds – can they be considered a marital asset subject to division?

The Florida Supreme Court has never really tackled this giant issue, but other states have. So, are a wife’s breast implants really marital assets subject to be equitably divided in by a court? Well wait no longer, the North Dakota Supreme Court has finally ruled on the issue for all of us, and you can read the decision yourself:

“Do we have any lines to be drawn? Is dental work a marital asset? Is a hip replacement a marital asset?” Justice Daniel Crothers asked attorney Christina Sambor during Supreme Court arguments on Thursday.

Citing cases from Hawaii, Delaware and Kentucky, Erik Isaacson invites us to hold that breast implants are a marital asset, the value of which are subject to distribution in the division of the marital estate. We decline . . .

Luckily for Mrs. Isaacson, she was saved from a very painful distribution. Was Isaacson v. Isaacson the most important decision in matrimonial law ever? Hardly, but equitable distribution does raise a number of interesting questions. Statutory factors, such as when the assets were acquired, or when the debts were incurred, and the reasonable necessity of acquiring and incurring them can all come into play.