Sometimes, engaged couples decide against the decision to marry. But, what
happens with the engagement ring, which, in most cases, is quite a large
investment? Many couples who choose to separate before marriage often
struggle with the following questions: Where does it go? Who gets it?
Who doesn't get it? To help couples understand more, our Bergen County
family law lawyers have addressed such questions and concerns using our
In most cases, the courts treat such an issue as a situation where a donor,
which is the person giving the ring, gives the gift to the donee, the
person receiving the gift. At that point, the ring is considered a "legal
gift." A legal gift is an item that does not have to be returned
at all. The giving of the gift accomplishes the following three things:
- The intention to give
- The delivery of it
- The acceptance of it
As a result, the person proposing the other for marriage had to intend
to give the ring, deliver the ring, and the other, the donee, provided
the engagement progressed before breaking up, had to accept the ring.
However, there is the concept of the "conditional" gift. With
this concept, courts consider the intention of marriage as an incomplete
act, meaning that the acceptance of marriage does not necessarily mean
the deal has been solidified. As a result, if a person proposes to another,
but the intention to marry does not reach its full completion, the conditional
gift may be considered null and void. So then, in some cases, the argument
of the "legal gift" does not hold in court. Consequently, the
person who gave the ring to the other individual may be able to retrieve the gift.
family law courts all over the nation have their polarizing views on it – the
gift of the ring is absolute or it is conditional. Most often, these types
of situations have to be handled on a case-by-case basis. For this reason,
couples who wish to separate during engagement should consider involving
a skilled family law attorney to ensure their rights are protected.
To speak with a New Jersey family law attorney,
call our legal team at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC right away. We are available 24 hours a day,
7 days a week!