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To Return or Not Return the Engagement Ring... That is the Question

Life is all hunky-dory when two people get engaged. They are hopeful for the future and look forward to a long life together. But, sometimes people don’t quite make it to the alter before it all falls apart. I dare say it is probably better to find out before the alter than after. Even so, what happens to the sparkly and expensive show of affection purchased to solemnize the occasions – the Engagement Ring? The bigger the rock, the more at stake; even small rocks may be big to some.

An engagement ring is what is called a “conditional gift” in Texas. Ownership does not convey until the condition is met – in this case, marriage. Upon marriage, the engagement ring is a gift, making it the sole property of the recipient spouse. To give the ring then breakoff the wedding, there has to be a really good reason to justify the breakup to get the ring back. Likewise, if the receiver gets the ring then dumps the giver, there better be a good reason to keep the ring. Maybe documented cheating is enough.

Other gifts given during the pre-wedding relationship are not conditional, so don’t expect those back in case of a breakup.

Texas Monthly had an interesting post detailing cases that have been filed to get the ring back after a pre-wedding breakup. Interesting read.