If I’m married, is my engagement ring mine to keep?

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If I’m married, is my engagement ring mine to keep?

Asked on November 21, 2012 under Family Law, Georgia

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

A wedding ring is deemed to be a gift and so once you are married it i typically yours to keep. Howwever, in a divorce, whether you can keep your engagement ring depends on when it was acquired.

If the engagement ring was acquired prior to the marriage (thetypical situation), the spouse who received the ring will be entitled to keep it as non-marital property, free from distribution by the Court.

If the ring was acquired after the marriage (and sometimes due to pre-marital financial constraints this is the case), its value may be deemed to be marital property (however, since it was a gift, the recipient spouse should be entitled to keep the ring and not have to sell it upon divorce).

Note: An engagement ring is a "conditional gift", conditioned on the promise to marry. Consequently, if there is no wedding, the condition for the gift has not been met. Accordingly, in most jurisdictions, the ring should be returned (although it can depend on the reason for why the wedding was cancelled).


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