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Lord of the ring: Kardashian or Humphries?

The Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries divorce battle is apparently heading toward new ground -- a fight over who should get to keep the $2 million diamond engagement ring that came with the NBA player's marriage proposal. Humphries reportedly believes he should get the ring back because the marriage was so short-lived, and because he believes Kardashian was deceitful and had fraudulent intentions with respect to the marriage. Based on a vague reference to a "dispute over jewelry" Kardashian's attorney made in a court hearing last week, it seems fair to assume that Kardashian feels otherwise.

What does the law have to say about it? While we're no experts on the laws of Middle Earth, the land of Mordor or the state where this case was filed -- in Tennessee, an engagement ring is ordinarily going to be considered a gift if the proposed marriage later takes place. Since there was an actual marriage ceremony here (witnessed by 10 million viewers, no less), the precious ring would likely be viewed as Kardashian's personal property if a judge has to decide the matter.

Because property brought into a marriage or acquired as a personal gift (before or during a marriage) is not subject to being divided in a divorce -- Tennessee's equitable distribution laws would not help Humphries in his quest for the ring either.

This leaves us with Humphries' fraud claim, which is really his best and only good legal argument for getting the ring back. Unfortunately, fraud is much easier to allege than it is to prove in a court of law, particularly in the context of a marriage. Recognizing that fact, Humphries' legal team reportedly asked the judge at last week's court hearing for more time to gather information before deciding whether to pursue fraud charges against Kardashian.

The next status hearing in this divorce and property division battle has been set for Aug. 15.

Disclaimer: No dwarves were tossed in the creation of this post. Representatives of Gandalf, the Elven King and the Northern Waste could not be reached for comment.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Kim Kardashian Divorce: Kris Humphries Wants Engagement Ring Back," May 8, 2012

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