Who Keeps the Wedding Ring
It is a happy day when a person proposes marriage and gives their intended an engagement ring. It is not so happy a day when someone breaks off the engagement. In addition to emotional angst, there is the question of what to do with the engagement ring?
Some claim the ring was a gift and they should be allowed keep it. Others feel the ring should be returned. What happens to the engagement ring depends on whether the engagement is broken off before the marriage or if the marriage takes place.
The ring goes back to the purchaser if the engagement is broken and there is no marriage.
Although an engagement ring is often thought of as a gift, Las Vegas divorce attorneys will tell you that the majority of courts view it as only a conditional gift. The ring is given on the condition that a marriage will take place in the future. If the marriage does not take place, the condition necessary for the gift to become final has not been met and the ring must be returned.
There are those who argue that the gift was given in exchange for their acceptance of the proposal of marriage, but this argument fails in court. A few courts have considered whose fault it was that the engagement was broken. If the marriage is canceled due to some misconduct of the purchaser of the ring and no fault of the recipient, those courts may allow the receiver of the ring to keep it.
In a divorce proceeding, the engagement ring is the sole property of the recipient.
When the couple gets married, the condition upon which the giving of the ring was based is met. All the terms of the contract have been fulfilled and the engagement ring, which was a gift, is now the sole and separate property of the recipient. Since it was a gift, it is not considered community property. So if there is an argument during the divorce or legal separation of whether the ring is community property it is highly likely the court will consider it separate property.