Can I get back the engagement ring if I broke it off? 5 Answers as of September 17, 2013

In February, I gave my ex an engagement ring and last Friday I broke it off for many reasons. I want the ring back. Do I have any legal rights to do so?

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James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
In MICHIGAN an engagement ring is a conditional gift which means that the gift I NOT complete until the marriage occurs. If the marriage never occurs (for any reason) the gift is not complete and you can get your ring back. Further, under Michigan law you can get treble damages for conversion .. so make a demand in writing for the ring. If she refuses to give t back you can sue her for treble damages. I have a pending case in circuit court where I am suing for return of a $15K engagement ring OR $45K plus attorneys fees because of the treble damage provision.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 9/17/2013
Glenn Milgraum PC
Glenn Milgraum PC | Glenn P. Milgraum
An engagement ring is given in contemplation of marriage. If no marriage occurs it does not belong to your intended bride. However, if she claims that it was not an engagement ring, but some other form of gift, it might be determined to be hers. Good Luck!
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 9/17/2013
Ellis & Abouelsood | John Danelon
Unfortunately, there is a split of decision on this matter. Many courts have found that an engagement ring is considered a gift, thus there is no legal obligation to return it. However, the original legal concept of marriage was that it was a contract between the parties, and many courts still use this theory when stating that an engagement ring is basically an invitation to an offer of contractual marriage, not a gift, thus if the offer is not accepted, the ring must be returned.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/13/2013
Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson | Eric Johnson
Believe it or not, in Utah, *no*, you are not entitled to get the engagement ring back if you or your fiancee breaks off the engagement. The law in Utah is clear on this subject. If you fiancee agrees to give the ring back, it's yours, but if she decides to keep it, it's hers.
Answer Applies to: Utah
Replied: 9/13/2013
John Russo | John Russo
Depends on your jurisdiction, but in the majority the answer is No, these types of issues have been defined as gifts.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 9/13/2013
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