The McDonnell Law Firm, PLLC | Patrick J. McDonnell
What do you mean, "during a divorce?" If he's your fiance', I assume you aren't yet married. If you never got married, yes, you must give it back. Courts have interpreted an engagement ring as a contract for marriage. If you don't get married the contract is void and you must return the ring. On the other hand, once you're married, the contract has been fulfilled and the wife does not have to give back the ring upon a divorce.
Answer Applies to: New York
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
I am confused. Are you engaged or married? If married, the ring is yours. Strange enough, the concept goes like this, it was "given to you as a gift prior to marriage" and is therefore your separate property, in the alternative, is was given to you in exchange for a promise to marry which you did, therefore you earned it prior to marriage. However, if you are engaged - not yet married, the water is a little muddy: He gave it to you in exchange for a promise that he has decided you are excused from keeping. Socially, morally, and traditionally, it is yours (now had you broken off the engagement, all of these say you give it back). Legally - I am not sure I have ever seen this fact pattern brought to the courts.
Answer Applies to: Texas
H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
Legally speaking, the ring is considered a gift and I don't see where you could be required to return it. From a purely social etiquette point of view, the "rule" is that if the woman breaks off the engagement, she should offer to return the ring. But again, that is just social custom, not law.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If he unilaterally broke off the engagement, you are entitled to keep the ring. If you unilaterally broke off the engagement, he would be entitled to return of the ring to him. "Talking" to another woman does not seem to bean offense serious enough to justify breaking off an engagement - but having an affair with another woman would be one. Unless the subject of their conversation was terminating his engagement to you or something else inconsistent with his intent to marry you, he likely would be entitled to return of the ring.
Answer Applies to: California
Law Office of James L. Miller | James Miller
If he is your fiance what do you mean by divorce. If he is only your fiance courts in California have ruled both ways on the return of an engagement ring. Their ruling will be made on the facts of the case and the circumstances regarding the giving of the ring. It seems that the majority of the courts order the ring to be returned, especially if you ended it.
Answer Applies to: California
Kelly A. Broadbent, Esq. | Kelly Broadbent
I'm a little confused by your wording but will address this 2 different ways. Engaged but not married: unless the engagement ring was given as a gift on your birthday, Christmas or other such holiday, you are supposed to return the ring. Married: the ring becomes marital property and should be divided in the property distribution at the time of te divorce.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Anderson & Boback | Janice L Boback
If he is your fiance that means you have not yet married him so there is no divorce. The ring is a gift in exchange for a promise to marry, if you do not go through with the marriage the ring belongs to your fiance and it must be returned. If, however, you get married and then divorce, the ring belongs to you and does not have to be returned.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
Generally, Arizona law says the ring is a gift "in contemplation of marriage." In other words, if you had married then split up, the ring would be yours, but if you split up prior to the wedding, the ring should be returned to him.
Answer Applies to: Arizona
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
Your question is confusing because you refer to a fiance and divorce. If you split before the marriage, there is no divorce case involved. Even in a divorce case, the general rule is that the ring is a gift and a gift is not marital property. There might be a legitimate argument that the gift was only made on the specific condition that the marriage occurs but that is not usually supported by the actual facts. If the marriage did not occur, your fiance will have to sue you on some sort of breach of contract theory.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
There is no "divorce" without a marriage. Has there been a marriage or not? Engagement rings in Washington are considered conditional gifts conditioned on your getting married. If you don't get married, there is no gift.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Law Office of William L Spern | William Spern
An engagement ring is a gift in contemplation of marriage. As you say fiance wants the ring back, I assume you are not married. S the ring was given to be kept if you were married and if you never married, the gift is null and void and must be returned to your fiance.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. | Richard A. Gray
The majority opinion in Virginia courts is that the engagement ring was in exchange for a promise to marry. Since the promise to marry has not been fulfilled, the conditional gift of the ring is negated and the ring must be returned.
Answer Applies to: Virginia