If an engagement is called off, who gets the ring?

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If an engagement is called off, who gets the ring?

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Asked on June 3, 2017 under Family Law, Alaska

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In most states, an engagement ring is considered to be what is know as a "conditional gift". This is a gift given on condition that a future event occurs (in this case one given in contemplation of a marriage). If the event fails to occur, then the donor has the right to have the gift returned. Accordingly, if the wedding is called off, the would-be-bride must give the ring back.  This is true no matter whose "fault" it was that the marriage did not take place. That having been said, in a few states, fault does matter. The reasoning is that it isn't fair that the donor should always get the ring back, especially if the donee was willing and able to go ahead with the wedding and it was who the donor who broke it off. For further information, you can contact a local attorney call into a local attorney.
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