It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s a legitimate question: if the wedding doesn’t happen, who should keep the engagement ring? Is there a legal answer, or does it just depend on the couple? The answer depends on the laws of your state.
In some states, an engagement ring is typically considered a gift, and as such, it cannot be taken back once it has been given away. In others, there may be hope to get the ring back if an engagement ends.
There are three criteria that define an engagement ring as a gift:
- You intended to give the ring as a gift
- You gave the ring to your fiancée
- The ring was accepted by your fiancée
This may seem simple enough, but when you consider the reasons for a wedding being broken off, it becomes less clear. For instance, what if it was your fiancée’s infidelity that caused the wedding to be called off? The fiancé purchased the ring for his fiancée with the expectation that he would get married, so it seems logical that he should want it returned if his wife-to-be was unfaithful. Some states agree – these states hold that engagement rings are “conditional gifts” that should be returned if that condition is not fulfilled. Florida is one such state.
In Florida, the engagement ring is given under the implied condition that a marriage is to take place. If it does not, then the person who purchased the ring is entitled to get it back if his fiancée breaks off the engagement. However, the law doesn’t specify what is to happen to the ring if the donor is the one who broke off the engagement, and so either party might have claim on the ring.
Need Help? Call The Virga Law Firm, P.A.
An engagement ring, which may have once symbolized commitment and love, can become a point of contention when a relationship doesn’t work out. If you need help defending the return of a ring or recovering a ring that you gave as a gift, contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A. for legal advice. Our Pensacola divorce lawyers can be reached at (850) 257-7086.