What Happens To Wedding Rings During A Divorce?
Posted in Divorce on May 10, 2018
Unless the two of you agree otherwise, you will have to say goodbye to that ring as well as your spouse after the divorce is final. It boils down to this, wedding rings are unconditional gifts and fall into the same category as any other gift given by one spouse to another (or even a gift from a third party specifically just to one spouse).
To put this in perspective, a court may view an engagement ring as a conditional gift subject to return if the couple does not marry. That ring was given on condition that there be a marriage. If the condition does not happen, the gift must be returned. (It was not always that way. Engagement rings had been held to be unconditional gifts in the past and in other states.) It does not matter how brief the marriage was. If you marry, conditional gifts become unconditional.
It may well be the case in a down and dirty, expensive contested divorce that the court ends up viewing a very expensive ring as an asset (which could be sold – after all, it could not very well be argued that the ring has any remaining sentimental value in a divorce) which could result in the person keeping the ring having his/her share of the total marital assets reduced by the value of the ring.
But, in the end, a gift is a gift. It’s best to remember that when one makes a gift to someone, one may never see it again.