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Who Owns The Engagement Ring?

(Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

(Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Wedding season is upon us. So who gets to keep the ring if the groom doesn’t walk down the aisle?

A New York City man filed a lawsuit last month, demanding the return of the $10,000 engagement ring he gave his erstwhile fiancée which she refused to return when the engagement was called off. The complaint doesn’t say why the engagement broke off. Suffice it to say, if it has ended in litigation, it’s not a match made in heaven. But if he gave her the ring, does she legally have to give it back?

The answer is yes.

The engagement ring is a conditional gift – it’s given on the condition that the pair actually gets married. She takes title to it as her property only if she walks down the aisle. Once they are married, as Kim Kardashian could tell you, the length of the marriage doesn’t matter (except, you know, for the happily ever after part), the ring becomes hers.

But until then, she’ll have to take the ring off of one finger, and then give him another finger.