An engagement ring is an object with a deep sentimental feeling attached to it, but it is also often the most valuable asset a young couple owns at the beginning of their marriage. When a marriage falls apart and a couple files for divorce, it is understandable that both spouses may have strong feelings as to the entitlement of the ring; the spouse who gifted the ring may feel as though a promise has been broken, while the spouse who wears the ring may feel as though gifts cannot be taken back.
When a valuable engagement ring is at stake, what happens if the engagement is broken off? And, if a couple is married, how do they know whether the ring should be considered marital or personal property? Read on to find the answers to these questions and then contact an Oak Park divorce attorney for help with your case.
When Does an Engagement Ring Have to Be Given Back?
Engagement rings are different from other gifts that lovers give to each other; generally speaking, even a very expensive gift does not need to be returned if an engagement is called off. An engagement ring, however, is a gift given in exchange for the promise of marriage. If an engagement is called off, whether the ring must be returned depends on who ended the relationship.
If the recipient of the ring broke off the relationship, Illinois law says that the ring must be returned – even if the recipient called off the wedding because the ring giver cheated or otherwise acted poorly. If the couple mutually agreed to end the relationship, the ring is likewise returned. If the ring giver calls off the engagement, the recipient is generally allowed to keep the ring, even if doing so may be considered by some to be in poor taste.
Once a couple is married, the wedding ring and other gifts generally remain the personal property of the spouse to whom they were given. However, a spouse hoping to prove a piece of jewelry is her personal property will need to overcome the assumption that assets bought during a marriage are marital property. A love note, a photograph, or some other evidence of gift-giving may be necessary to prove the jewelry is personal, rather than marital, property.
Schedule a Case Review with an Oak Park Marital Asset Division Lawyer
Correctly designating personal and marital property is an essential part of securing a fair divorce decree. If you are considering divorce in Illinois and need help proving that your personal belongings should not be divided in your divorce, schedule a free consultation with a Hillside, IL marital asset division attorney with [[title]]. We have the experience and skills you need to obtain a favorable divorce decree. Call us today at [[phone]].