When the marriage of Gina and Edward ended in divorce and it became necessary to allocate property, the trial court charged with ruling on this matter had to
sort through multiple gifts made by Gina’s father while the couple was married. Understandably, Edward generally argued as much as possible that such gifts
were made to the couple jointly, whereas Gina’s position was that at least some of these gifts were made to her alone.
Some of the gifts were easier to classify than others. The court found, for example, that a 1993 Buick had been given by the father only to Gina, and not for the
use of both husband and wife. Four different gifts of $10,000 each from the father, made to qualify for the annual gift tax exemption, had clearly been made to
one or the other of the parties, making it easy for the court to put each such gift in Gina’s or Edward’s column. When considering that Gina’s father had paid off
a credit card debt of $12,500, the court treated the payoff as a gift to both parties because Gina and Edward had both purchased items with the credit card, so
that payment of the debt benefited both of them.
As to one gift from Gina’s father, you could say that one critical word (or contraction) made the court regard the gift as having been made to both parties. Gina’s
father had given $15,000 towards bricking the jointly owned house and garage. This obviously enhanced the value of the marital home and benefited both Gina
and Edward. More than that, there was evidence that when Gina’s father made that particular gift, he had said it was for “ya’ll.” Some outside the South think
that “ya’ll” is used below the Mason-Dixon line to refer to one person or more than one. In this instance, though, as in most cases, “ya’ll” was a plural pronoun
referring to both Gina and Edward, thus supporting a ruling that the gift had been to them both.