I don’t: Who gets to keep the ring?

May 17, 2010

With wedding season gearing up I wondered, who gets to  keep the ring if an engagement is broken?  If the ex-bride breaks it off, must she return it? Or, if the groom breaks it off, does the would-be bride get to keep the ring?  The answer varies between each state. The search I did in WestlawNext was:

Jurisdiction: All States

Search: Who gets the engagement ring if the couple doesn’t marry?

Instead of reading a bunch of different cases to learn the law in each state I found an A.L.R. on the WestlawNext Overview page entitled, “Rights in respect of engagement and courtship presents when marriage does not ensue”. This article is extremely helpful (as most A.L.R. articles are). It breaks the issue down into theories of recovery and then also breaks it down by jurisdiction.