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Engagement Rings and Divorce

1. I just broke up with my long time boyfriend. He gave me a $10,000 engagement ring. Do I have to give the ring back to my former no good boyfriend?

Yes, you are legally required to give the ring back to your boyfriend. An engagement ring is not an asset subject to equitable distribution because it is a conditional gift. Since the condition of marriage is broken, then the ring is only only returnable if the engagement is broken and the marriage does not take place. Winer v. Winer, 241 N.J. Super. 510 (App. Div. 1990).

Another illustrative case is Aronow v. Silver, 223 N.J. Super. (Ch. Div. 1987). Here, the court held that an engagement ring is a conditional gift that must be returned to the gifting party in the event the marriage does not happen. In summary, you are legally required to give the ring back. If you were married, then you would not have to give the ring back because if was a gift, and the condition of marriage was satisfied.

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