Virtually no one enters into marriage thinking it will fail, but the fact remains that many marriages do end in divorce. As such, the issue of who gets the wedding ring in the event of divorce is pertinent – especially if the ring is very valuable or is a family heirloom. Understanding the law’s stance regarding wedding rings can help you better understand what is likely to happen in your unique situation. If you are facing divorce, you need an experienced Central Texas divorce attorney to help you protect your rights and to obtain the just and fair division of your marital property.
In a Texas divorce, the wedding ring is considered the separate property of the recipient, which means that the divorce proceedings are not likely to obligate him or her to return the ring – except in specific situations (Confused on the difference between marital and separate property? Read more in this article: Is it Marital Property or Separate Property?). The wedding ring and/or engagement ring is conditional only on the recipient’s acceptance of engagement – and not on the wedding itself. Many other states view things differently and consider the engagement and/or wedding ring as being conditional on the recipient’s promise of marriage, and the ring, therefore, does not become the property of the recipient until the marriage takes place.
Engagement Rings that Do Not Lead to Marriage
If a couple does not go through with a marriage, Texas law does not necessarily return the ring to its purchaser – the proposer. Instead, there are two different scenarios that typically guide the determination of to whom the ring belongs.
Wedding Called off by Proposer/ Wedding Called off by Receiver
If your wedding is called off by the proposer, case law indicates that the proposer – who also purchased the engagement ring – is not entitled to having the ring returned to him or her. If, on the other hand, the wedding is called off by the recipient of the ring, the person who proposed is likely entitled to having the engagement ring returned.
If the ring in question is a family heirloom, things are a bit different. If you do not go through with the marriage or if you divorce and the ring is a family heirloom, it will likely be returned to the spouse for whom it is an heirloom. If you had children within the marriage, however, the heirloom ring will likely be held for one of your children. (Wondering how to help your children through a divorce?)
Debt Associated with Ring Purchase
If there is debt associated with purchasing the ring, that debt – upon divorce – will follow whomever originally incurred the debt. (Read more about untangling your debts during a divorce)
Unless one of the exceptions discussed above applies, a wedding ring typically remains the property of the person who accepted the proposal and the ring.
If You Are Divorcing, Consult with a Central Texas Divorce Lawyer Today
If you are divorcing, attorney Brett H. Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas is here to help. Mr. Pritchard has the experience, dedication, and compassion to help guide your case toward its best possible resolution. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.