Engagement rings have a long and important history in human society. When one person wants to marry another, he or she often presents an engagement ring. The person who accepts the ring also agrees to walk down the aisle and say, “I do.”
If your engagement ring has precious metals and gemstones, it may be one of your more valuable assets. In fact, according to reporting from CNBC, the average engagement ring in the U.S. costs roughly $5,900. Your ring also may appreciate in value over time.
A conditional gift
In Ohio, engagement rings are conditional gifts. When you accept one, you do so with the condition you are going to marry your fiancé. If the marriage does not take place, you have not fulfilled the condition. Therefore, if you split up before your wedding, you may have to return the engagement ring to your ex-fiancé.
Once the marriage happens, the analysis typically changes. That is, because you fulfilled the condition of marrying your spouse, the engagement ring becomes just a gift. Under Ohio’s property division rules, gifts are usually separate property. Therefore, when you divorce your spouse, you probably do not have to return the ring to him or her.
Like with many other legal matters, there is a caveat. If you have a prenuptial agreement that includes the engagement ring, you may have to return the ring to comply with the agreement. You also likely have the option of giving up the ring in exchange for something else during your divorce settlement negotiations.
Ultimately, whether you want to keep your engagement ring after your divorce or part with it, you probably have the law on your side.