Who Keeps the Ring?
In Texas, engagements usually lead to marriage. It’s not just a Texas phenomenon – millions of Americans walked down the aisle each year.
But not everyone makes the trip. And when a jilt happens, it’s often accompanied by bad feelings. Chief among the disputes – who gets to keep that expensive engagement ring?
Texas has a solution for that.
The Texas Family Code requires a promise or agreement made in contemplation of marriage to be in writing to be enforceable. For the majority of couples who do not execute such agreements, Texas law recognizes the conditional gift rule. Although gifts are generally irrevocable, the conditional rule states that a gift to a person to whom the giver is engaged to be married, which is made in contemplation of that marriage, although absolute in form, is considered a conditional gift. The gift is conditioned on the occurrence of the marriage of the parties.
If the engagement fails, the Court will determine which party was at fault for ending the relationship. Texas courts have included an element of fault to ensure a fair outcome. If the person who receives the gift (the “donee”) is at fault for ending the engagement, then he or she will be required to return the gift. Conversely, if the person who gave the gift (the “donor”) was at fault, then the donee can keep the gift. This issue mostly comes up in the context of engagement rings, but it can also apply to cars, jewelry, homes, and other property.
So, the simple solution is to sign a prenuptial agreement that stipulates who keeps the ring and other property if there is a break-up.
Hammerle Finley’s family law attorneys can help you with that.
The more complicated solution is to handle the matter post-break-up. Our family law attorneys can work to negotiate a settlement. If necessary, our attorneys have the background and experience to represent your interests in court.
Hammerle Finley Law Firm. Give us a call. We can help.
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The information contained in this article is general information only and does not constitute legal advice.