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Considering ownership of rings in a divorce

| Sep 27, 2013 | Property Division

It is clear that married couples get into arguments from time to time. Tennessee couples understand that when these disputes become too much to handle, they might decide to dissolve their marriage. When divorce is brought up, there are numerous factors and issues to consider. Various conversations about property division will take place throughout the process. This portion of the divorce tends to be messy because couples will disagree with who gets what. This makes it especially important to keep accurate records of property and assets even when divorce is not in the picture.

Whether the marriage lasted decades or pretty much ended before it started, some couples question where wedding and engagement rings stand. A recent report discusses the potential issues that could arise surrounding the ownership of the rings. When a marriage goes sour, some spouses will seek to have the rings returned because they are a symbol of marriage. If the marriage fails, they see no reason for the soon-to-be ex-spouse to keep what most claim to be marital property.

When it comes to engagement rings, the majority and minority rules in states look at whether the act of marriage was completed. If the marriage took place, then the ring belongs to the wife either as a conditional gift or a pre-marital gift. If it is considered a conditional gift, meaning the condition of marriage, the donor is entitled to the return of the ring if that condition fails or there is a case of infidelity.

If the ring is considered a pre-marriage gift, then this makes it personal property of the wife and will not be subject to division. There is an exception to this rule, and that is when the ring is considered a family heirloom. If it is proven to have unique quality, the husband could be entitled to return.

The report also indicates that if a ring is updated or upgraded for an anniversary, that ring will most likely fall within a gift category regardless of where it fell before. This will then make it personal property and the husband will not be bale to have the ring back.

Property division can cause emotions, disputes and drama for the splitting couple. In those times, it is important to realize that most divorcing couples will enter a dispute about ownership, property and assets. Moreover, they should understand that they do not need to do this alone. A qualified professional can aid a spouse dealing with a divorce and help them understand their rights and options.

Source: Huffington Post, “Give Me My Ring Back! (Who Gets the Wedding Rings in a Divorce?),” Natalie Gregg, Sept. 23, 2013


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