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Who keeps the engagement ring in an Ohio breakup?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2024 | Divorce

Some breakups are relatively amicable – but yours is not. Your ex seems to have taken a “scorched earth” approach to the whole situation. They’re even demanding the return of your engagement ring, saying that you “don’t deserve it.”

What are your rights in this situation? A lot depends upon your specific circumstances.

Engagement rings are gifts – with strings attached

Ohio case law generally considers most gifts to be just that – gifts. The giver can’t claim them back just because they’re now unhappy with the recipient. However, engagement rings are unique in that they are conditional. The ring is given in contemplation of marriage, and its acceptance indicates that the recipient will go through with the marriage.

In practical terms that means that if you didn’t even make it down the aisle before your relationship fell apart, you’re expected to return the engagement ring. On the other hand, if you did go through with the marriage, the ring became yours – for good – once you said, “I do.” It doesn’t matter if your marriage lasts for years or just days. (An exception to that rule would occur, however, if you have a prenuptial agreement that specifies that the ring must be returned if you divorce).

All of that being said, sometimes engagement rings become a huge source of dispute in a divorce because they are family heirlooms. If the ring has significant emotional value to your spouse, you may want to consider it something that can be used as leverage in your negotiations.

When you’re going through a difficult divorce, you may encounter quite a few complex issues like these – and legal guidance that’s tailored to your situation can make it easier to approach each one strategically.