Who gets the engagement ring? There’s no easy answer

by | Sep 6, 2018 | Firm News, Property Division |

If you give someone an engagement ring, is it your right to ask for it back if you break off the engagement or decide to later get a divorce? This is something many people question, and there isn’t actually an easy answer. Courts often disagree on who the engagement ring should belong to, and there are multiple factors to consider.

One thing to think about is the intention of the ring. Is it truly a gift? In a way, but it’s also a conditional gift for some. For instance, it’s unlikely that anyone would receive an engagement ring without agreeing to marry. However, in some cases, someone may say that the recipient may keep the ring. It’s not usually those cases that end up in court.

Many people return engagement rings if they break off the engagement before they get married, but after marriage is another story. It’s not necessarily marital property, because it was given before marriage. However, it may still be treated as a conditional gift. This makes it complicated to decide if the conditions have been met (getting married), or if the terms of that gift have been violated, (seeking divorce). It may also depend on who started the divorce process. If the spouse who gifted the ring started the divorce, it’s usually seen as fair to leave the recipient with the ring.

Your attorney can help you understand your right to an engagement ring in your situation. It’s something you may wish to argue over as a valuable asset and compensation during divorce.


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