It can be complicated to determine which spouse is entitled to what property during a separation. Connecticut residents who have experienced divorce understand that tempers can flare when it comes to dividing assets, particularly those with sentimental value. One of the most common points of contention is the engagement ring, and the question of whether it belongs to the person who purchased it or the person for whom it was intended.
In situations in which a marriage is called off, many states will agree that the ring should be returned to the buyer as it represented a commitment that was not seen through. However, once a marriage is on the books, the laws governing division of property can change from state to state. Some states operate via the majority rule, which says fault determines who is entitled to the ring — if one partner committed adultery, the other partner is entitled to the ring. Others operate via the minority rule which does not consider fault at all.
Exceptions to both can be made in the case of rings which are also family heirlooms. In these cases, a legitimate claim to ownership can be made by the party who gave the ring to begin with. Generally speaking, however, most states consider an engagement ring a prenuptial gift, which is therefore not counted among the couple’s shared assets and is considered the property of the current owner.
Divorce can be a complicated process, most assuredly so when money is involved. Connecticut residents are urged to learn about their rights and responsibilities under state law before seeking a divorce. This can help to speed the process and cut down on unnecessary tension on the way to dissolving a marriage.
Source: Huffington Post, Give Me My Ring Back! (Who Gets the Wedding Rings in a Divorce?), Natalie Gregg, Sept. 23, 2013