If my ex-fiance claims that herengagement ring was lost, is she liable?

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If my ex-fiance claims that herengagement ring was lost, is she liable?

She claims the ring was lost when I threw her clothes out of the closet onto the bed. There were also a few pieces of clothing thrown 2 feet outside the bedroom door. She picked up the clothes shortly thereafter, but she claims that is when the ring was lost. No way. She says she kept the ring in the closet so it wouldn’t get stolen. Who is satisfied with a $9000 ring being lost. She never even looked for it. I believe it was lost before all this. Is she liable?

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Family Law, Washington

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Let's just state the law.  Engagement rings are gifts and each state views the gift differently.  Some states view them as gifts given in contemplation of marriage. So if the parties do not marry then the gift is to be returned. It is a "conditional" gift.  In this case, who breaks the engagement can also be a factor.  Some states view them as a gift like any other gift.  So if the engagement is broken it really does not matter.  It is the bride to be's forever. In Washington State, the state you have listed here, the ring stays with the party who is dumped.  So if you broke the engagement it stays with your ex.  If she broke the engagment then you get to keep it.  So if she broke up with you ask for the ring back.  If she still claims it was lost then sue her for the value.  Otherwise, you are out of luck. 


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