Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

give back ring when divorcing?

Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

nejarb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
324
what do ya''ll think? give it back? keep it? give it back only if he asks? don''t give it back even if he demands it? has anyone ever encountered this situation before? what did you or your gf do? does it matter how long you were married or how old or how wealthy you are? or are these facotrs all irrelevant?

just wondering. i''m not getting divorced (not even married yet). it''s hypothetical.
 

marvel

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
1,133
Date: 12/18/2006 6:23:39 PM
Author:nejarb
what do ya'll think? give it back? keep it? give it back only if he asks? don't give it back even if he demands it? has anyone ever encountered this situation before? what did you or your gf do? does it matter how long you were married or how old or how wealthy you are? or are these facotrs all irrelevant?

just wondering. i'm not getting divorced (not even married yet). it's hypothetical.
I'm divorced and didn't give back the ring. He didn't ask for it either, or I probably would have gave it back. After 8 yrs of marriage, we had bigger fish to fry, and my ring was such a small issue in the grand scheme of things. I think it really has to do with the circumstances of each situation. In my current situation, I'd give it back if he asked...or, maybe not
 

dtnyc

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
1,099
I think if there is a family stone from his side, it should go back.

I have a guy friend who got divorced and he kept the furniture and she kept the ring.
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
Messages
29,570
If the marriage doesn''t take place I think the law states you must give the ring back, at least that''s the law in PA. If you''re married, I don''t think you have to give it back. But perhaps it''s one of the things you have to settle, like who gets the house, the china, the plasma TV and so on?? I think I''m in the clear being married 20 years now, hehe. Not of divorce, but keeping the ring, LOL!!!!!
 

Mara

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
31,003
heck no!

the engagement ring is a promise to marry. when you marry, that promise is fulfilled. i would imagine that the wedding ring might be up for debate. but i would not give either ring back. unless MAYBE it was a super short lived marriage like a few months. otherwise, sorry!
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Date: 12/18/2006 6:44:42 PM
Author: Mara
heck no!

the engagement ring is a promise to marry. when you marry, that promise is fulfilled. i would imagine that the wedding ring might be up for debate. but i would not give either ring back. unless MAYBE it was a super short lived marriage like a few months. otherwise, sorry!
Mara''s right from what I learned. I''m not offerring legal advise, that''s for you to discuss with your attorney. But to my knowledge the e-ring is a promise to marry. Upon marriage it becomes wife''s propertyas that promise is fullfilled. (unless it was given to fiance on a birthday or as a holiday present then there is an argument made that the ring was a present for the event, and even if marriage doesn''t take place it''s still the woman''s property). It is my personal opinion that as Kaleigh said, an heirloom should be returned but I have no idea what the law says on that point. Again... not legal advise. Just conversing here.
 

asscherisme

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 6, 2006
Messages
2,851
If I was getting divorced I would keep the ring.

UNLESS it was a family heirloom of his and handed down to him from someone in his family. In that case, i would definately give it back.

I have read that a ring is a contract in most states and if a woman breaks off the engagement befoe the wedding she has to give it back. If the wedding takes place, she fullfilled the contract and the ring is hers.

Throwing a wrench into the contract thing, I have read if a guy proposes on a birthday or Christmas it could be considered a bday gift or Christmas gift. So guys be careful with those holiday proposals LOL.
 

Tacori E-ring

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Messages
20,039
Date: 12/18/2006 7:00:44 PM
Author: asscherisme
If I was getting divorced I would keep the ring.


UNLESS it was a family heirloom of his and handed down to him from someone in his family. In that case, i would definately give it back.


I have read that a ring is a contract in most states and if a woman breaks off the engagement befoe the wedding she has to give it back. If the wedding takes place, she fullfilled the contract and the ring is hers.


Throwing a wrench into the contract thing, I have read if a guy proposes on a birthday or Christmas it could be considered a bday gift or Christmas gift. So guys be careful with those holiday proposals LOL.
I agree! DH''s aunt made a necklace out of hers. I think I would do something like that. Wearing the ring as is would be creepy!
 

FireGoddess

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
12,145
I too recall reading that the ering is a symbol of intent to marry. If marriage doesn''t happen, he can get the ring back. But once the marriage takes place, it is the woman''s. If the stone is a family heirloom, there are other things to consider in that case.
 

Beacon

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 14, 2006
Messages
2,037
If it were given to me as gift prior to marriage I sure would not give it back. Only way I *would* give it back is if I could use it as a bargaining chip for something else I wanted more!


If I got it subsequent to the marriage I at least have to own half of it in any case - I live in a community property state. So then I guess it would be up to negotiation.

I probably would not want the ring that much after the divorce anyhow, so I would probably end up getting rid of it one way or another.
 

snlee

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
5,891
I would definitely keep the engagement ring unless it''s a family heirloom. I wouldn''t give the wedding ring back unless it was an extremely short marriage and HE demanded it back!
 

nejarb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
324
oh, i''m not concerned about the legal rights or anything. i have a law degree. to clarify though, as far as legal rights, once a gift is given from one spouse to another, it belongs to the giftee spouse. it doesn''t matter if it''s a family heirloom or if you live in a community property state. a gift to 1 spouse (before OR during marraige) is, by definition, NOT community property (whether from other spouse or relative or stranger).

anyhow, i just never confronted this situation before. but a friend is going through a divorce and she asked me what she should do with her stone (i.e. rhr, pendant, etc) and she told me that he wanted it back. she''s not giving it back, but i just wanted to know if this was typical.

i think she should get another similar stone and make studs, even if it means putting it away in a safe deposit box for a few years until she can buy herself another 1.25-1.5 ct cushion. but that''s sort of a waste of a diamond isn;''t it?
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jul 25, 2005
Messages
13,329
In old SE Asian society, women were paid by their husbands to get married, have kids. This money/land/livestock was supposed to help her and her children in the case he should die or they divorce.

Re-set is a bit cheaper than buying a whole ''nother stone for earrings.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
There are exceptions which many times is based on individual circumstances, and the law in different states varies however generally in the US it goes like this most commonly.

A. An engagement ring accepted as such is a "conditional gift". As long as the opposite (generally the male) party paid for it. The CONDITION of the gift is that the receiver promises to marry. If the marriage doesn''t take place, then in most states, it is to be returned to the person that paid for it. However, sometimes this is not the decision if the bride or the brides family was stuck for a lot of expenses due to the male fiance cancelling the event. Sometimes a judge rules in either party''s favor when there are other reasons to do so.

B. Once the marriage takes place the ownership of the ring becomes part of the "marital estate". Most states require that each party list all the assets of the marriage and if they can be divided amicably, then the court usually agrees with what has been agreed to by the parties in the property settlement agreement. If the parties do not agree, then most states require it to be valued (some states by the parties, and in some states by an appraiser). Each party is given the opportunity to equitable divide the marital estate, but many time the opposing parties are not in agreement. Judges'' can then order everything to be sold and the proceeds divided in either equal shares but sometimes not equal. It is a case by case result.

This is not legal advice, and the law varies in many states, so the above may or may not apply. How the item are valued is also covered very specifically in some states, in others it is not clear in the statutes.

Those here who have law degrees might expound on their state might do.

But the above has been my experience here in FL.

Rockdoc
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Hi Rocdoc... I *think* I remember that in some states (have no idea where) it doesn''t become marital property automatically ... that a woman can claim it as a ''gift'' and avoid the whole thing... or something like that. But lawschool was... too long ago and its all fuzzy and hazy now. LOL. I do remember the birthday/holiday present thing clearly though cause the guy next to me started swearing because he had proposed to his lady on her birthday. LOL.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Date: 12/19/2006 12:36:26 AM
Author: Gypsy
Hi Rocdoc... I *think* I remember that in some states (have no idea where) it doesn''t become marital property automatically ... that a woman can claim it as a ''gift'' and avoid the whole thing... or something like that. But lawschool was... too long ago and its all fuzzy and hazy now. LOL. I do remember the birthday/holiday present thing clearly though cause the guy next to me started swearing because he had proposed to his lady on her birthday. LOL.
HI Gypsy......

Years ago, when engagement rings cost $ 500-$1500, it wasn''t too big a deal. Now that some engagement rings are $ 8K - $ 50 K - it becomes more of an issue.


If the gift is presented as a birthday or Christmas gift etc, the woman could try to claim it as a present with no conditions, but if she said to anyone that testified as a witness that she considered it an engagement ring, such a defense might be overruled by a judge.

I would also think that if a pre-nup specifiying something different were signed then it might be an entirely different matter, dependent on what was agreed to.

In the divorce valuations ( where the marriage did take place) that I have been hired to value things the wife usually keeps the engagement ring, but relinqueshes 1/2 its value of something else that is marital property.

I have had several cases where the wife has accepted the engagement ring, only to find out that the stone was switched for a CZ by "someone".

In my lectures here to the Family Law Section of the FL Bar, I''ve made it a point that the jewelry be immediately appraised to make sure no switching goes on later.

Sad as it is to admit - this has happened occasionally in cases. Unfortunately, afterwards is not the time to then get it appraised if it wasn''t at the start of the divorce filing.

Rockdoc
 

Maria D

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 24, 2003
Messages
1,945
>>In the divorce valuations ( where the marriage did take place) that I have been hired to value things the wife usually keeps the engagement ring, but relinqueshes 1/2 its value of something else that is marital property. <<

I don''t anything about actual law but this does make sense. In my case, with an e-ring worth less than $5K, it becomes trivial compared to the assets we''d have to split. But what about someone with a $30K ring (which seems to be quite common here)?

RockDoc, does it matter if the engagement ring was purchased before the marriage? In other words, if a woman gets a $$$$ e-ring upgrade several years into the marriage, is that considered the same as any other asset whereas if the ring was purchased before marriage it''s all hers?
 

Gypsy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2005
Messages
40,198
Date: 12/19/2006 12:53:32 AM
Author: RockDoc

Date: 12/19/2006 12:36:26 AM
Author: Gypsy
Hi Rocdoc... I *think* I remember that in some states (have no idea where) it doesn''t become marital property automatically ... that a woman can claim it as a ''gift'' and avoid the whole thing... or something like that. But lawschool was... too long ago and its all fuzzy and hazy now. LOL. I do remember the birthday/holiday present thing clearly though cause the guy next to me started swearing because he had proposed to his lady on her birthday. LOL.
HI Gypsy......

Years ago, when engagement rings cost $ 500-$1500, it wasn''t too big a deal. Now that some engagement rings are $ 8K - $ 50 K - it becomes more of an issue.


If the gift is presented as a birthday or Christmas gift etc, the woman could try to claim it as a present with no conditions, but if she said to anyone that testified as a witness that she considered it an engagement ring, such a defense might be overruled by a judge.

I would also think that if a pre-nup specifiying something different were signed then it might be an entirely different matter, dependent on what was agreed to.

In the divorce valuations ( where the marriage did take place) that I have been hired to value things the wife usually keeps the engagement ring, but relinqueshes 1/2 its value of something else that is marital property.

I have had several cases where the wife has accepted the engagement ring, only to find out that the stone was switched for a CZ by ''someone''.

In my lectures here to the Family Law Section of the FL Bar, I''ve made it a point that the jewelry be immediately appraised to make sure no switching goes on later.

Sad as it is to admit - this has happened occasionally in cases. Unfortunately, afterwards is not the time to then get it appraised if it wasn''t at the start of the divorce filing.

Rockdoc
Cool. Practice versus Legal Theory. Always elightening! Thanks Roc Doc!
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 15, 2000
Messages
2,509
Date: 12/19/2006 9:54:44 AM
Author: Maria D
>>In the divorce valuations ( where the marriage did take place) that I have been hired to value things the wife usually keeps the engagement ring, but relinqueshes 1/2 its value of something else that is marital property. <<

I don''t anything about actual law but this does make sense. In my case, with an e-ring worth less than $5K, it becomes trivial compared to the assets we''d have to split. But what about someone with a $30K ring (which seems to be quite common here)?

RockDoc, does it matter if the engagement ring was purchased before the marriage? In other words, if a woman gets a $$$$ e-ring upgrade several years into the marriage, is that considered the same as any other asset whereas if the ring was purchased before marriage it''s all hers?
Your question in the last paragraph above really doesn''t have a lot of bearing. Since the original asset was owned jointly after the marriage, any upgrade would also be part of the marital estate unless the parties agreed in advance to something different in a pre-nup.

The percentage of how the assets get divided may or may not be 50/50. Different circumstances can change the percentage, but for valuation functions, the assets are valued per the specific requirements in the law for the jurisdiction as a "whole". How it get split up, really get decided primarilly by the parties, or if they can''t agree by a mediator or judge, if they can''t agree.

It gets even more complicated when gifts from each person''s side of the family are included or the subject of disagreement. But generally this is more of an accounting function if issues are raised referring to who''s money paid for what during the marriage.

Most intelligent people divorcing generally don''t get into fighting and bickering, and amicably agree on how to divide the assets, but there are some who just can''t, and then it has to be decided for them, which isn''t an appraiser''s job to do. The appraiser merely reports the values, and how it gets divided is up to the Court.


Rockdoc
 

mtrb

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 8, 2003
Messages
207
Date: 12/18/2006 6:23:39 PM
Author:nejarb
what do ya'll think? give it back? keep it? give it back only if he asks? don't give it back even if he demands it? has anyone ever encountered this situation before? what did you or your gf do? does it matter how long you were married or how old or how wealthy you are? or are these facotrs all irrelevant?

just wondering. i'm not getting divorced (not even married yet). it's hypothetical.
It totally depends on the situation. I have a friend who gave his ex-wife his Grandmothers center stone... She cheated on him and they divorced. She was a real class act.. She would not give it back... so he found it where it was hidden and pryed the center stone from the ring and put it back. I had to applaud him for that move..you can imagine the reaction.
 

divergrrl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2002
Messages
2,224
I'd keep the ring, unless (much like everyone else on here) it was a family piece from my husband's family. I'd feel bad keeping something I knew had belonged to one of his family members, but that's just me.


I was always under the impression that legally an engagement ring goes back if no wedding takes place. But once you are married it's the wife.

I'd hate to get divorced, so I'd rather just keep the husband too.
God willing anyway!

Jeannine
 

codex57

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 18, 2004
Messages
1,492
Date: 12/18/2006 11:53:06 PM
Author: JulieN
In old SE Asian society, women were paid by their husbands to get married, have kids. This money/land/livestock was supposed to help her and her children in the case he should die or they divorce.


Re-set is a bit cheaper than buying a whole ''nother stone for earrings.
Really? I thought it was the other way around. That the bride''s family paid the groom''s family for "taking care" of the daughter since she became the groom''s family''s responsibility. Or maybe that''s just old Chinese tradition instead of the native SE Asians.
 

AdaBeta27

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 7, 2004
Messages
932
Date: 12/18/2006 6:23:39 PM
Author:nejarb
what do ya''ll think? give it back? keep it? give it back only if he asks? don''t give it back even if he demands it? has anyone ever encountered this situation before? what did you or your gf do? does it matter how long you were married or how old or how wealthy you are? or are these facotrs all irrelevant?

just wondering. i''m not getting divorced (not even married yet). it''s hypothetical.
I was out-earning my former husband by almost 2:1. I was paying for a lot more household expenses than the average wife b/c the ex never had anything left over from paychecks. (His top secret $35000+ in credit card debt must have been a factor, LOL) I had a beautiful 3/4 ct e-ring. I gave it back in exchange for keeping my limited production car. Then I went out and bought myself a 2+ct. Now I have one of only 3600 of that car made (fewer exist), and a 2+ ct rock. And NO debts! Is this a great country or what. Next! :)
 
Status
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    November’s Jewels Of The Weeks
    November’s Jewels Of The Weeks
    Upgrade to Five-Stone
    Upgrade to Five-Stone
    Elizabeth Taylor's Diamond Heart
    Elizabeth Taylor's Diamond Heart

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top