An engagement ring and/or wedding ring can be a major investment. Some people save for months or years for a diamond. Some rings even cost tens of thousands of dollars.
When a couple gets engaged, they may not worry about this cost because they’re just excited to be together and planning for the future. But if they get divorced, then it may suddenly become very important who gets to keep such a valuable asset. Does the person to whom it was given get to keep it because it was a gift, or should it go back to the person who purchased it?
A conditional gift
There are exceptions, but the general rule is that an engagement ring is a conditional gift and the condition is that the person will marry the individual who is giving them that gift. If they said no at the moment of the proposal, then their significant other would not give them the ring at all. The only reason they got it is because they said yes.
As a result, if that individual breaks off the engagement, then they likely have to return the ring. They did not get married, so the condition was violated and the gift is no longer theirs.
However, if the couple is getting divorced, that means that the condition was already met. The wedding did happen. It may not have lasted for the rest of that person‘s life, but they did do what they agreed to do when they took the ring. As such, it is now a separate asset that they brought to the marriage, so they may get to retain it if they would like after the divorce.
This is just one way that divorce cases get financially complicated, so be sure you know what legal options you have to protect your assets and your future.