The Wedding is Off – Who Gets the Engagement Ring?

Valentine's Day came and went and with it, many dropped to their knees and proposed to their significant other. While Cupid may have been having a hay day with all of the love in the air, he may not appreciate what sometimes occurs afterwards. Apparently, nowadays, many couples who end up calling off their engagements go to court in order to establish who legally owns the engagement ring.

Many states differ on the issue of who gets the ring and whether or not it is a conditional gift and it is a good idea to check on the property division rules in the state in which you reside prior to trying to either get back or keep the ring. In Texas, the fault-based, conditional-gift rule is applied. The ring belongs to the innocent (dumped) party. If a man breaks off the engagement, the woman gets to keep it. Vise versa, if the woman calls off the wedding, she must return the ring.

Where it may get tricky however is when the split is a mutual decision. In these instances, these disputes may need to be brought into a court for judicial division if an agreement cannot be reached outside of the court system. The judge will then decide which party is most entitled to the engagement ring based off of a myriad of factors.

A commitment to marriage is not just an emotional commitment, but also a financial one as well and in both marriage and divorce, finances can be the crux of many disputes. Knowledgeable legal counsel can help you to sort through the financial disputes should it come to seeking that kind of advice. A skilled family attorney can help protect the assets that mean most to you both pre and post marriage via prenuptial and postnuptial agreements that work best for you.

Source:, "The Legalities of Love: Who Keeps the Ring?," Feb. 27, 2013

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