The average cost of an engagement ring in the U.S. is $5,871. Because this is such a valuable asset, many couples are eager to find out which party it will be awarded to in the event of a divorce. Here’s what you need to know:
Who Keeps the Engagement Ring After A Divorce?
Each state has its own laws regarding who keeps the engagement ring after a divorce. In New Jersey, the engagement ring is considered a gift, which means it is classified as separate property. The laws of equitable division only apply to marital property, not separate property. Therefore, the engagement ring remains with the person who it was originally given to in the event of a divorce. It will not be one of the assets that is subject to division during the couple’s divorce proceedings.
It’s important to note that this law only applies to engagement rings that were purchased prior to the marriage. But, some couples purchase engagement rings after tying the knot. For example, let’s say a husband upgrades his wife’s engagement ring to celebrate their 10thanniversary together. In this example, the upgraded engagement ring is classified as a marital asset. This is because the upgraded ring was purchased during the marriage and was a gift given from one spouse to another. Because the upgraded ring is classified as a marital asset, it is subject to division in the event that the couple gets divorced. The court has the authority to award the upgraded ring to either spouse depending on the circumstances of the divorce.
Who Keeps the Engagement Ring if the Wedding is Called Off?
The rules are quite different if a couple that is engaged decides not to get married after an engagement ring has been purchased. An engagement ring is a conditional gift, meaning one party gives it to another under the condition that the couple will get married. If this condition is not satisfied, the recipient is no longer entitled to the gift. The ring will now belong to the party that gifted the ring, regardless of who is to blame for the failed engagement.
The property division laws in New Jersey are complex, which is why you will need the experienced attorneys at Williams Law Group, LLC on your side. Let us protect your best interests during the division of property and all other aspects of the divorce proceedings. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation.