Who Keeps the Engagement Ring After the Wedding is Called Off?

Engagement rings can be pricey and most people buy them with the expectation of eventually saying, “I do.” While certainly most engaged couples ultimately do take that trip down the aisle, not all engagements get to that stage. What happens to the ring when the engagement falls apart and a couple decides to part ways? Depending on the state you live in, the answer to this pressing question depends on a variety of factors involved, including when the ring was given and who was responsible for the failed engagement.

Although an engagement ring is essentially a gift, in Florida, this gift is considered conditional and given in anticipation of a marriage, which means that once the wedding is called off, the recipient would have to return it to the other party.

Conditional and Unconditional Gifts

An unconditional gift is voluntarily given, at no cost, to another party and cannot be revoked once it is accepted. A conditional gift, on the other hand, includes an explicit condition and the giving and receiving of this gift cannot be completed until that condition is fulfilled. This means that, until the condition is fulfilled, the gift can be revoked at any time. Most states view an engagement ring as a conditional gift, which means the fiancé who purchased the ring can ask to have the ring returned upon the failure of the engagement.

Given that Florida is a conditional gift state, if you and your fiancé were to part ways before ever heading to the altar, he or she would have to return the ring to you, regardless of why the two of you broke up or who initiated it. Unlike states like California where issues like fault and who called off the wedding matter, Florida does not take any of these elements into consideration.

My Fiancé Refuses to Return the Ring

While the law is clear in stating that the recipient of an engagement ring must return it to the other party should the marriage never take place, this does not mean your fiancé will give it up so easily. It is possible that you might have to go to court to ask for help to retrieve the engagement ring. The jurisdiction you seek help from will depend on how much the ring is worth.

A broken engagement can be an emotional experience. If your spouse refuses to return the engagement ring to you, seek legal assistance today.

Family Law Attorneys in Clearwater

If you were engaged and purchased a ring for your fiancé and the wedding was ultimately called off, you likely want that expensive token of love returned to you now that it is over. At Tinny, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A., our team of family law attorneys in Clearwater have the experience and knowledge to effectively represent you and ensure that your former fiancé returns what is yours.

Get started on your case today and reach out to our law firm at (727) 245-9009 to request your free initial case evaluation with one of our skilled attorneys.