Who gets the engagement & wedding rings in a divorce in Austin, Texas? These aren’t minor questions. Wedding rings and engagement rings can be significant investments. Additionally, a ring may be a family heirloom. You might want to know you’ll get it back when your marriage ends.
Understanding wedding ring laws by state is essential now. In Texas, many factors can influence who gets the rings after a divorce.
Who Gets an Engagement Ring if a Marriage Doesn’t Happen in Texas?
What happens with engagement & wedding rings in a divorce can depend on the circumstances of the case. For example, sometimes, an engagement doesn’t result in a marriage.
Does the person who bought the engagement ring get it back in these circumstances? That depends on who called the marriage off.
According to the case of Curtis v. Anderson, an engagement ring is a conditional gift in Texas. That means a person accepts it on the condition that they agree to get married.
The person who bought the ring has no legal right to get it back if they call off the marriage. They can ask the other person to return it, but the ring belongs to the recipient in the eyes of the law now.
However, the recipient may be the one who decides they don’t want to get married. Texas case law states they must return the ring in these circumstances.
It’s also worth noting that the engagement ring becomes the separate property of the recipient if they do go through with a marriage. This means it’s not subject to division in a divorce. Even if the marriage ends in divorce, the recipient has the right to keep the engagement ring.
Is an Engagement Ring or Wedding Ring Considered a Gift in Texas?
A wedding ring is also a conditional gift in Texas. Conditional gifts in Texas usually become the property of those who receive them if they meet the necessary conditions.
Agreeing to marry and going through with the marriage is the condition one must meet to receive a wedding ring as a gift. Thus, like the engagement ring, the wedding ring becomes the married person’s separate property. The person who bought it no longer has a legal claim to get it back.
Is a Wedding Ring Marital Property?
According to the Texas Family Code, community property (or marital property) consists of any property that either spouse acquires during a marriage. A few exceptions apply in cases involving gifts, inheritances, etc. Marital property is subject to division in the event of a divorce.
In some instances, couples may purchase rings together after already getting married. They may assume these rings constitute marital property. However, courts are still more likely to treat them as conditional gifts.
Can I Fight to Get a Wedding Ring Back After Divorce in Texas?
There are circumstances in which you can attempt to negotiate to get a ring back. This may be the case regardless of whether your ex has a legal obligation to return it.
For instance, you might want a family heirloom back. You may be able to get it returned in this scenario. Speak with a family law attorney for more information about your options if your ex won’t entertain the idea of returning the ring.
What to Do with a Wedding Ring After Divorce in Texas
Do you have to give the engagement & wedding rings in a divorce in Texas? Usually, no. However, you may wonder what to do with a symbol of your marriage after it has ended.
There’s no one option that’s right for everyone. Choices to consider include:
- Selling the ring – Selling the ring could help you dispose of a painful reminder of a divorce while also getting some money. Research the value of the ring thoroughly before selling it. Its value at the time of purchase may not be its current value.
- Returning the ring – The fact that you don’t have to return the ring doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Although you don’t have to, returning the ring may be an effective way to smooth over relations with an ex.
- Donating it – Wedding and engagement rings are expensive. If you have a gorgeous ring you no longer have use for, someone else might appreciate it. Consider donating a wedding ring so a person who usually might not be able to afford one can have it.
- Repurposing it – You may repurpose the ring itself or remove the diamond and insert it into another piece of jewelry. Speak with a jeweler to learn about your options.
- Keeping it – Although the marriage may end, your feelings about it might still be complex. You may keep the ring as a reminder.
Those are just a few options. Regardless of what you decide, don’t make this decision rashly. Consider your options thoroughly to ensure you make the right choice.
What Is a Divorce Ring in Texas?
A divorce ring (or a before and after divorce ring) is something you might wear in place of a wedding ring after a divorce. Some people find wearing such rings helps them cope with the end of a marriage. Instead of mourning their marriage, someone can look at their ring and remember to celebrate the next chapter of their life.
You may consider purchasing a divorce ring if you returned a wedding ring or to recognize that you’ve had a life-changing event. A divorce ring can symbolize the process of moving forward.
Contact an Austin, Texas, Family Law Attorney
Determining who gets the rings is one of many issues you may need to address in a Texas divorce. Luckily, you don’t have to navigate this process alone. At Smith Family Law, in Austin, TX, our team of family law attorneys can guide you through the process, answer your questions, and ensure you have a dedicated advocate. To learn more about how we can help contact us online or call us today at (512) 277-3166 for a free case review.
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