After an engagement is called off, must the engagement ring be returned?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

After an engagement is called off, must the engagement ring be returned?

Asked on February 21, 2015 under Family Law, Connecticut

Answers:

Bruce Provda / Provda Law Firm

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The previous answer is correct, an engagement ring is a conditional gift and must be returned.  However, in some jurisdictions if it is given as a gift, i.e. birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, that can be overridden if taken to Family Court.  In my experience, it is better to return it.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

The majority opinion in the courts is that an engagement ring is a "conditional gift". This means it is a gift given on condition that a future event occur (in this situation one given in contermplation of marriage). If that event does not occur, then the donor has the right to get the gift back. Accordingly, if an enggement is broken off and a marriage does not occur, the would-be-bride must return the ring; this is true regardless of whose "fault" it was that the marriage did not take place.

That having been said, in the minority of states fault does matter. The reasoning is that it isn't fair that the donor should always get the ring back, particularly if the donee was ready, willing and able to go forward with the marriage and it was who the donor broke it off.

At this point, you can put a call into a local attorney or goggle the issue to find out the law in your state.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption