What Happens to the Engagement Ring?
Ask an Attorney: Matrimonial & Family Law
Question: What happens to the engagement ring?
Answer: Broken engagements and broken marriages often lead to the question: What happens to that really expensive engagement ring? If the engagement was broken, and no marriage takes place, the answer is pretty straight forward: the engagement ring has to be returned. And no, it doesn’t matter who broke the engagement. It’s what lawyers call a “conditional gift”. Marriage is the condition. No marriage, no ring.
Once you’re married, however, the conditional gift “vests”. Because that conditional gift was “pre-marital”, it’s not considered a gift between spouses, and in the event of a divorce, the recipient of the engagement ring is entitled to keep it.
Allen I. Tullar, Chair of the Matrimonial and Family Law Group, regularly counsels individuals in divorce, custody and child support matters.