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Can you keep your wedding ring after a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 6, 2023 | Divorce

Even though your marriage is on the rocks, you have some fantastic memories of your wedding day. One of your favorites is when your soon-to-be ex-spouse slipped a ring on your finger. Now that you have worn your ring for years, you may not be able to imagine parting with it.

During a divorce, you and your husband or wife must divide your marital estate, including everything you jointly own and owe. According to Ohio law, divorcing spouses do so equitably. This means you and your spouse each receive a fair share, but you might not get exactly half.

Separate property

Ohio’s equitable distribution scheme applies to marital property and not to separate property. As such, you can probably keep anything you independently own. Usually, gifts someone makes to only one spouse qualify as separate property.

When your soon-to-be ex put a wedding band on your finger, he or she gave you a conditional gift. The condition, of course, was your going through with the marriage. Because you satisfied this obligation, your wedding ring is probably separate property that belongs exclusively to you.

Marital agreements

Because your wedding ring belongs to you, you likely have full control over what happens to it. There is a caveat, though. If you have a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement that requires you to return your ring to your spouse, you probably have to comply with the terms of the agreement.

Ultimately, if your spouse really wants to regain possession of your wedding ring, you might be able to use the ring as a bargaining chip during your settlement negotiations.


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