What Happens to the Engagement Ring?

Engagement Ring Law- Mavrides Law

by: Julia Rodgers

What happens to the engagement ring if you and your fiancé decide not to get married? In most cases, the engagement ring must go back to the purchaser. This is because the engagement ring is not considered a pure gift, but rather a conditional gift, with the condition being that the parties get married. If that marriage does not take place, the promise is not fulfilled, and therefore the ring should go back to the purchaser.

How do you know if the ring is considered an unconditional gift? This typically applies when  the ring is presented to the recipient on a calendar holiday, or on a birthday.

Please see the below case for further clarification:

De Cicco v. Barker , 339 Mass. 457 (1959)
"It is generally held that an engagement ring is in the nature of a pledge, given on the implied condition that the marriage shall take place. If the contract to marry is terminated without fault on the part of the donor he may recover the ring."

Julia Rodgers, Mavrides Law

Julia Rodgers, Mavrides Law

To speak with a lawyer about a prenuptial agreement or other family law matter, contact Mavrides Law in Boston, Newton, or Quincy, Massachusetts. To schedule an initial consultation, call 617-723-9900 orcontact the firm by email (info@MavridesLaw.com)

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