This is one of the top ten most common questions we get asked as Divorce Attorneys!
Minnesota law states that "an engagement ring is a conditional gift" and the condition of the gift is marriage. So who gets the ring depends on if you're married or not married at the time of the break up and who bought the ring. That's the very simple answer though. Aside from etiquette, the law in Minnesota is clear on who gets the ring or the value of the ring regardless of who called off the wedding or ended the marriage.
So, if the marriage never happens and the relationship falls apart, the ring must be returned to the giver.
If the wedding takes place, you're legally married and the condition of the gift has been met. If the relationship falls apart, the ring is the “non-marital” property of the recipient which means it is exclusively theirs and not subject to any marital property division.
Long story short: walk down the aisle and the ring is the recipients; forgo the aisle and give the ring back to the giver.
The simple answer is – it depends on if you are legally married or if you never made it to the wedding.
Many couples during their marriage, trade up the initial ring or upgrade the diamond. When this happens, the ring is now both “non-marital” and “marital” property under Minnesota law. The initial value of the ring is the “non-marital” property of the recipient but the value of the upgrade is “marital” property which is subject to any marital property division.
What about gifts like diamond earrings or the sapphire anniversary necklace? Absent a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, gifts between spouses during the marriage are “marital property” subject to division upon a divorce.
M-F 763-425-6330 or complete our general information form
We serve clients in Rogers, Albertville, Anoka, Buffalo, Elk River, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Monticello, and St. Michael as well as other communities in Hennepin County, Stearns County, Wright County, Sherburne County, and Anoka County.