Who gets the ring in an engagement is broken off?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Who gets the ring in an engagement is broken off?

My fiance asked me to marry him 6 months ago. A few days ago, he broke up with me. There was nothing wrong and I didn’t want to break up with him; from my knowledge he was faithful to me. He said that we weren’t lovers anymore and had turned into friends which is why he wanted to break up. Yesterday, he told me that he wanted the ring back. I have no intention of giving it back; I want to keep it as a momento to remind myself to keep an open mind with my relationships in the future. He told me that he looked it up and what he read states that he is entitled to get the ring back. I also looked it up and he showed me the website he saw and it states,

Asked on October 27, 2018 under Family Law, Massachusetts


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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The fact is that merely changing your mind about getting married does not constitute wrongful conduct. Such conduct would something long the lines of unfaithfulness, abuse, etc. Accordingly, you'll need to return the ring. An engagement ring is a gift made in contemplation of marriage. That being the case, in most states (and apparently yours as well) an engagement ring is a gift conditioned upon the marriage actually taking place. If the marriage does not occur, then the would-be-bride must return the ring.  

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