What Happens to the Ring if the Marriage Falls Through?

Pleasanton CA family law attorneyThe engagement and wedding rings are essential cornerstones of most marriage ceremonies and traditions all over the country. Add their high monetary value to the formula, and you have a recipe for conflict if the marriage ends or never takes place. Specifically, who exactly gets to keep the ring if things fall apart?

To answer this question, we need to take a look at California’s marital property laws.

What California Property Law Has to Say About This Matter

Given that California is a community property state, all property that was acquired before the marriage is considered separate property. In terms of engagement and wedding rings, the courts often rule in favor of the receiver and not the giver. This is because the ring is usually given as a gift while both parties are still unmarried, and thus the receiver of the gift is entitled to keep it.

However, things can play a bit differently when someone is gifted a family heirloom during the proposal. In these cases, the giver is often entitled to receive the ring back by reclaiming ownership of the heirloom, as the law makes a distinction between family jewelry and general engagement/wedding rings.

Keeping the Ring Could Impact Asset Division

Of course, there are many reasons as to why someone might want to keep the ring regardless of how the courts might rule. In these scenarios, the individual who wants to keep the ring can try and work out an arrangement with the other party during the process of asset division. Note that engagement and wedding rings are usually worth a pretty penny, and its value will likely impact your share of possessions as the courts work to split your assets evenly.

Find out How We Can Help With Your CA Divorce

Regardless of the specifics at hand, asset division is always a complicated process. Proceeding without a legal advocate is a terrible idea, and your soon-to-be-ex will likely spare no expense in forming his/her legal team.

We hope this post answered some of your questions. If you want to learn more about divorce proceedings or asset division in CA, or any other matter involving family law CA for that matter, be sure to reach out to us. Call the Law Offices of James P. White today to schedule a free initial consultation.