Who Keeps the Engagement Ring After a Divorce?

woman wearing engagement ring

When a marriage ends, the couple begins dividing all their possessions from the relationship. While the division of assets process handles a married couple’s shared assets, you may be concerned about individual items, such as your engagement ring. Our Manhattan divorce attorneys at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein share what happens to your engagement ring in a divorce.

Broken Engagement

An engagement ring is often viewed similarly to signatures on a contract: the ring seals the deal. If the relationship is a broken engagement and the couple is not yet married, the ring giver is the rightful owner of the engagement ring, and the giftee, or the individual who wears the ring, must return the ring. This means that no matter how the relationship is broken off, the ring must go back to the person from whom it was given.

Following a Divorce

If the couple does marry and divorce later in their relationship, the ring is then deemed separate property and owned by the recipient and ring-wearer in the event of a divorce. This can complicate divorces, especially if the engagement ring is a family heirloom or custom-made with stones that are valuable to only one party, such as stones from willed jewelry.

How to Protect Your Engagement Ring

If you are concerned about your engagement ring in the event of a divorce, you can protect your ring by including it in your prenuptial agreement before your marriage or a postnuptial agreement written after your wedding day. A prenuptial agreement can help you safeguard your engagement ring and ensure it is returned to its rightful owner following your divorce.

If the engagement ring is a family heirloom with emotional attachment or another sentimental piece of jewelry, it should be included in any protective documents you create, such as a prenuptial agreement to preserve ownership. If you would not want it staying with your spouse after a divorce, you should take extra measures to protect the piece of jewelry.

Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein Divorce Attorneys

Our divorce attorneys understand that you may be concerned about the division of property process, especially regarding assets you have an emotional connection with. We can help you understand where you stand and what should happen with your engagement ring in the event of a divorce.

Are you unsure of what happens with your engagement ring after a divorce? Schedule a consultation with our award-winning team to learn more by calling (212) 466-6015 or contacting us online.

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