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Who gets the ring in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 6, 2018 | Property Division |

When you are in love and decide to get married, one partner typically buys a ring for the other to propose marriage. Engagement rings are often expensive or sentimental in nature. They become a symbol of the love between you as a couple. However, when the marriage ends in divorce, the engagement ring can be a disputed piece of property.

According to the Huffington Post, most courts consider engagement rings gifts. It could rule is as a conditional gift that is given on the condition of marriage, which if you break up before you marry, the court could issue returned to the buyer. However, if you did marry, you met the condition. It can also be considered absolute, which means it is a gift without strings attached. So, even if you don’t marry, you can keep it. When it comes to returning the ring after you have married and divorced, though, courts are usually in agreement that does not have to be returned, regardless of how much it cost.

There is one exception. If the ring is a family heirloom for the giver, it is given under the assumption that it will remain in the family because you, as the receiver, are becoming a part of the family. When you divorce, you are no longer in the family, so the expectation is that you will return it. The courts usually agree with this and will order you to return it.

So, the bottom line is that if your significant other bought the ring specifically to give to you, you will probably get to keep it after a divorce, but if it is a family heirloom, you probably will not. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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