Who Gets to Keep the Ring if the Engagement is Broken?
A broken engagement usually prompts the question , “who gets to keep the ring?” There are basically two possible outcomes – either the ring was a gift and should be kept by the recipient, or it was a contract and should go back to the giver. Many people feel strongly one way or the other, but as with most things in life, these situations are not always so black and white.
NFL star Mario Williams is suing his ex- fiancée for the return of his $785,000 engagement ring. With a price tag that high, it’s really no surprise that he wants the ring back! Jilted gents in Seattle and New York City are also suing for their more modestly priced rings back. All of these men are alleging that the rings were conditional gifts, and the broken engagement is the same as a broken contract. But, a Staten Island woman is fighting for her right to keep the ring that she feels entitled to. She claims that she paid all of their bills while her former fiancé saved for the ring.
Here in New York State, the general rule is that the gift is conditional, and goes back to the gift-giver regardless of who broke of the engagement. However, circumstances are taken into account. For instance, if the ring was given on the recipient’s birthday or another holiday, the ring may be considered an unconditional gift.
As you plan your marriage, remember a prenuptial agreement can help you avoid future disagreements or disputes. Before you tie the knot, consult an experienced family law attorney who can explain how a prenuptial agreement can benefit you. Call our Brooklyn law firm at (718) 758-5480 to arrange a confidential consultation with Mary Grace Condello.