news & events

News & Events
Put a ring on it? Here’s how to get it back. The law behind engagement rings.

Put a ring on it? Here’s how to get it back. The law behind engagement rings.

Engagement rings are generally considered to be integral to an engagement and given with the understanding that a marriage will follow. So, once the ring is given, who owns it? When Person A proposes and gives Person B an engagement ring, the marriage itself needs to happen in order before Person B actually owns the ring. Simply stated, prior to the marriage, lawful ownership of an engagement ring remains with Person A – the person who gifted the ring.

Indiana law adopts a “no-fault” approach to the gift of an engagement ring. In a “no-fault” jurisdiction, courts will not consider the reasons why an engagement ended when determining who should rightfully own an engagement ring after the breakup. Instead, courts will determine that, following a break-up, the lawful owner of the engagement ring is the person who purchased the ring. Id. It’s possible that if a person fails to return an engagement ring after a breakup, they could be held liable for conversion in violation of Ind. Code 35-43-4-3.

Worst case scenario: after a messy breakup, your ex-fiancé throws the ring into a cornfield, pawns it, or somehow disposes of it. What now? Well, even if they are no longer are in possession of the ring, an ex-fiancé can still be liable for its purchase price. As stated previously, Indiana law supports that when a relationship dissolves prior to marriage, the lawful owner of an engagement ring is the individual who purchased it. Even if the engagement ring cannot be returned, the purchaser of the ring is still entitled to recover for the purchase price of the ring.

If you are dealing with a breakup, divorce, or other family law matter and need legal help, McNeelyLaw’s experienced family law attorneys routinely assist clients in these types of matters. Contact us today at 317-825-5110 to speak with an attorney about your situation.

This McNeelyLaw LLP publication should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion of any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general informational purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own lawyer on any specific legal questions you may have concerning your situation.

Welcome To Our Blog. Looking for a specific post?