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Should You Give The Ring Back If You Break Up?

Author : Jill Renee

Submitted : 2009-09-16 15:32:00    Word Count : 560    Popularity:   44

Tags:   diamond engagement rings, diamonds

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This is a vexed question which has plagued couples through the ages and the simple answer is not simple it all depends on where you live and what the conditions for giving the ring were when the proposal was made.
The bottom line is that state law will determine who gets the engagement ring when the engagement is called off and different states have come to different answers it is a sad fact that engagements do end but perhaps it is even sadder that the matter ends up in court.

The fundamental issue is whether the engagement ring is an unconditional gift or a conditional gift. One rule that some courts follow is to treat the engagement ring as an unconditional gift by the donor, usually the man to the lady. As such, she becomes the owner of the ring when it is given and it is her property if the engagement ends before marriage, she gets to keep the ring and any other gifts which were given to her.

Strictly, there are three elements to consider before the giving of the ring can be considered a legal gift :

1. The giver intends to gift the ring to the recipient;
2. The giver physically delivers the ring to the recipient; and
3. The recipient accepts the ring.

If the recipient shows all three of these elements then the ring will be treated as an outright gift and it theirs to keep come what may.

The majority of courts do not accept this position because the ring is given in anticipation of the recipient doing something getting married. They take the view that the gift of the ring is a Conditional Gift , that is, though it may be in their physical possession they will only become the legal owners of the ring if they perform the obligations which are attached to the gift an engagement ring is given in anticipation of marriage and the recipient must perform that obligation to become the legal owner.

For many couples, breaking up may not be pleasant and they separate themselves in a civil fashion without the need for legal unpleasantness. For a man, losing the value of an engagement ring is small beer compared to the size of a divorce settlement so it is better to view the ring as a write off and object lesson rather than demean himself. On the other hand, there are engagement rings which have more than simply monetary value such as family heirlooms and in these instances, it is appropriate to take extra care so that they are not lost to the family and future generations.

There are some women, who look to keep their engagement ring and argue that simply accepting the marriage proposal is to be considered performance of the condition required and not the act of marriage itself. This is simply one example of what many married men refer to as The Rules women make them up as they go along and they are subject to change without notice, especially if she wants to get her own way. If you?re contemplating marriage you d better get used to the concept!

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By Jill Renee - president of http://DanforthDiamond.com, a leading authority on wedding rings, diamond engagement rings and other fine jewelry. Danforth Diamond provides the right advice to help you choose the

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