Engagement ring

An engagement ring is separate property and is not divisible by a court at time of separation. You do not have to return the ring.

Lisa M. Angel
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 781-1741 direct voice
(919) 256-1660 direct fax
(919) 787-6668 main voice
(919) 787-6361 main fax
email: angel@rosen.com

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I am a man that recently broke off an engagement with my fince. I had purchased an engagement ring and gave it to her at a nascar picnic when I asked her to marry me. It was not her birthday or any kind of gift exchangeing holiday. SHe states that according to her attorney in Tenn., she does not have to return the ring. Is this true?

A gift is a gift, it doesn’t have to be a holiday. Besides don’t you think the proposal of marriage is an event worthy of a gift?

Ok. One might think so, but then part of me marrying her required me taking out as large a mortgage as I could on a house her father gave to her after he paid cash for it. So it seems it is only a gift if I give it, not if her own dad does. My question is what does NC law say. They also expect me to pay any deposit costs they have ($6,000) plus giving up the ring that I’ll be paying for, for 4 years. Yea me. Im a single father with no help and she is a single mother that is solvent because her parents fund all her needs and then some. I have chosen not to go the court right as I don’t think any of us need that stress, I just want to know if the law supports my opinion or if law supports it was given as a gift because it was an engagement ring?

Did you and your wife live in the mortgaged house together during your marriage? If so, she may be assigned some of the debt in equitable distribution.

We did not actually get married. I called it off prior to the wedding date.

I did not get to teh point of taking out the mortgage, that is one of the things I was faced with having to do, I suppose that was one of our wedding gifts. :slight_smile:

Traditionally if the man breaks the engagement the woman keeps the ring. If the woman breaks the engagement the ring is returned this is custom not law.

Note thats engagement not marrige.


My ex and I are splitting after less than a year of marriage. We have nothing we have purchased together except our home that we have no equity in and which I am asking to be awarded to me. He keeps saying he is going to get my engagement ring back. This was a ring purchased and given to me months before our marriage. Does he have any right to this? Do I have to pay him 1/2 the value? I no longer wear it but it is a beautiful ring and I would like to pass it to our child one day.