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Faq & More >> Articles >> Articles about Marital Property >> Cold Feet: Who Gets the Engagement Ring?
Cold Feet: Who Gets the Engagement Ring?
August 22, 2016

Photograph of couple with engagement ringFor men who get left at the altar, the double whammy can come when the runaway bride decides to keep the engagement ring. With the traditional rule being spend three months' salary on the engagement ring, men who have given an engagement ring but aren't going to have a wedding are looking to recoup a significant financial investment. Football player Mario Williams is an extreme example of this. He sued his ex-fiance to recover the $785,000.00 engagement ring he had given her when their wedding was called off. Football player Roy Williams also had to sue his ex-fiance to get back the $76,000.00 engagement ring he had given her.

So who does the engagement ring belong to if the wedding is called off? The answer really depends on who does the calling off. Under Texas law, an engagement ring is a conditional gift. That means the gift is only complete upon the completion of a condition, which in the case of engagement rings is the wedding. If the wedding happens, then the engagement ring becomes the separate property of the bride. If there's no wedding, then the gift of the engagement ring isn't complete. However, it matters who nixed the wedding. If the groom cancels the wedding, then the bride can keep the ring unless the groom had a really good reason to call it off. Cheating is a pretty good reason. If the bride calls off the wedding, then the groom gets the ring back unless the bride had a really good reason to call off the wedding. Again, cheating is a pretty good reason.

In the case of Mario Williams, the parties settled. So we won't know what really happened. In Roy Williams' case, the court gave the ring back to Roy. It looks like Roy's ex-fiance called off the wedding and didn't have a good enough reason to do so.

One exception to the general rule about engagement rings is when the engagement ring is a family heirloom. In those situations, courts will likely give the ring back to the groom.

If you feel that you're entitled to the return of an engagement ring, contact Sugar Land family law attorney Chikeersha Puvvada at 832-317-6705 or online today to schedule a free 30 minute consultation.

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