Who Keeps The Ring?

a pair of wedding rings

The 50 to 50,000 thousand-dollar question that even baffles the experts; if an engaged couple calls off the wedding, who gets the ring? Etiquette experts such as Emily Post typically say it depends on who is at fault for the break up. According to Illinois law, the giver of the ring is entitled to its return no matter what, even if the person who bought the ring broke off the engagement.

The Illinois law states that, if the ring is purchased and given for the explicit purpose of proposing marriage it is considered a “gift in contemplation of marriage. According to the stature an engagement ring symbolizes a promise to marry. Gifts given “in contemplation of marriage are automatically considered conditional on the couple getting married. If the couple chooses not to get married for whatever reason, the condition of the gift is broken and must be returned to the giver. The Illinois Appellate court has held that even when the man was unfaithful, causing the woman to end the engagement, he is still entitled to the engagement ring he gave her because it symbolized a promise to marry

Depending on the circumstances of the breakup getting the ring back can be a little tricky. Believe it or not the giver can file an action for replevin to retrieve the ring. Replevin is the term for a legal action which places personal property with its rightful owner. If the recipient has sold or disposed of the ring, the giver may file a lawsuit for the value of the ring.