An engagement ring is a symbol of unconditional love. When one accepts this piece of jewelry, it signifies the promise of marriage and unity. However, a ring is merely an object. Relationships are prone to change. In a heartbeat, ownership of the ring could be up in the air. A recent California suit sparks an interesting question: Can you take back a ring if the relationship goes south?
On Monday, Ryan Strasser filed a suit in Washington D.C. According to the suit, Strasser bought his former fiancé a 4-carat engagement ring that cost almost $100,000. His former fiancé, Sarah Jones Dickens, broke up with Strasser shortly after. Despite a deal to split the property, Dickens is walking away with the ring.
Who gets the wedding rings in a divorce?
In Texas, an engagement ring is an absolute pre-marriage gift. In this case, the ring is not subject to division because it is separate property. Therefore, your ex-spouse probably gets to keep it.
On the other hand, there are some rare instances where you might get back the ring. For example, the wedding ring is a family heirloom. Due to the unique quality of the property, the courts may return it to the rightful family instead of your ex-spouse. Other forms of jewelry and gifts are also subject to this rule.
Other factors could shift the ownership of a ring, such as the wedding being called off or debt incurred by the purchase of the ring. Dividing assets in a divorce can be a complex process. Regardless, the courts deal with property according to state laws, even when it’s not always agreeable to both spouses.