Going separate ways… Who should keep the ring?
When we discussed the ring in the event of a called off engagement, we didn’t realise how much debate there was around the topic. This even included legal cases where two sides battled over who would keep it.
With our very own office and Facebook page in much disagreement, we have done our best to outline what needs to be considered before you decide who keeps the ring!
I bought it!
The most common argument is, whoever bought the ring should keep it. Which seems pretty straightforward until you read the next point.
When is a Gift a Gift?
Courts generally treat the engagement ring as a gift, from whoever proposed. To be considered a legal gift, three things must be present: the proposers’ intent to give the ring as a gift, the proposer’s delivery of the gift and the acceptance of the item. If the person to whom the ring was given can show all three elements, a court will consider the ring to be a gift.
However, the majority of courts also consider such a gift to be a conditional one. That means that, until some future event occurs (e.g. the marriage) the gift isn’t final; if that event does not occur, then the proposer has the right to get the gift back. Women who want to keep their engagement rings often argue that the condition needed to make the engagement ring a final gift is simply the acceptance of the proposal of marriage, not the completion of the marriage ceremony. That way, if the engagement is broken, the ring remains her property.
However, most courts find that the gift of an engagement ring contains an implied condition of marriage; acceptance of the proposal is not the underlying “deal.”
It was your fault, not mine!
Another reason that can be considered is who was to blame for the break up. This isn’t always the easiest thing to uncover even in the simplest of relationships.
It isn’t fair that the proposer should always get the ring back, especially if the one who was proposed to, stood ready to go ahead with the marriage and the proposer broke it off. Equally, it would be unfair for the proposer to keep the ring if the engagement was broken because of the others unfaithfulness or other wrongdoing.
Here is what happened when we asked our Facebook fans:
- My daughter and I went out for a drink and shopping with the money we got from the ring.
- It is a contract. Break the contract and it should be given back. If you go ahead and get married then the contract is fulfilled in which case the girl can keep it.
- definitely the girl, it’s not the guy could give it to the next girl he proposes to …. Could he?
- the question is would u really want it back in the first place
- Depends. Girl should keep it if she is being forced out of her share of fortune, she may be able to use it for bad days – provided it is worth it. Boy should keep it if he has spent a fortune for it and the girl doesn’t deserve it or the girl is too emotional to keep it.
Where do you stand on this topic? Who do you think should keep the ring?
To read about real life legal battles on who keeps the ring, follow this link: http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/22/news/engagement-ring/index.html
To see what other divorcees did with their ring, read this interesting article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18801221