When a couple gets engaged, an expensive ring is often the gift that seals the deal. For some couples, an engagement ring may be their most valuable asset for many years and questions about ownership in a divorce could become heated, especially if the marriage did not last long. For others, questions about ownership of a potential engagement ring come up before a ring is even purchased; after all, if the partner buying the ring plans to spend a significant amount of money, he or she may want some assurance that the value of the ring will be protected if the relationship fails. If you are married, engaged, or need more information about engagement ring ownership, read on and then contact an experienced Illinois family law attorney.
Who Owns an Engagement Ring?
Although an engagement ring may seem like the private business of the two people involved in the relationship, Illinois law does apply to engagement rings. If one partner gives the other an engagement ring, it is considered a gift conditional upon a marriage taking place. If the ring’s recipient ends the relationship before the wedding, he or she must give it back. Likewise, if both parties agree to end the relationship, the ring needs to be returned to the giver. If the ring’s giver ends the relationship, the recipient may be able to keep it. If you are in this situation, and your ex plans to keep the ring, talk to an attorney right away.
Once a marriage begins, the ring is considered a gift and is not part of a couple’s marital estate. Many couples decide to upgrade their rings after several years of marriage, and even these upgrades are likely not part of the marital estate, because they are likely to be seen as gifts from one spouse to the other. When a couple divorces, each partner keeps their own ring.
Can a Prenuptial Agreement Determine a Ring’s Ownership?
Prenuptial agreements can address any property-related issue (as long as it is not child support), so if you are not yet married and are concerned about the ownership of an engagement ring in the event of a divorce, you can certainly address this issue in a prenuptial agreement. Even if you are already married, you can do the same in a postnuptial agreement – however, this may be more difficult, because you will need your spouse’s assent and he or she may not agree if the marriage has already taken place.
Contact a Cook County High Net Worth Divorce Attorney Today
Managing issues of valuable belongings can be a source of great conflict in any divorce. If you are considering getting married, divorced, or simply have questions about valuables and marital property, schedule a confidential consultation with the DuPage County high net worth divorce attorneys at Botti Marinaccio, LTD. today. We have experience helping high-net-worth couples and individuals get what they need out of divorce or marriage and we can help you negotiate an asset division settlement, draft a prenuptial agreement, or advise you on your legal options before you make a move. Call us today at 630-575-8585.