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pinky12

Returning Engagement Ring

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Hello. Man lives in PA, woman lives in CT. Man presents woman with engagement ring in CT and she says yes right then and there. They begin to make wedding plans. Few months later he ends the engagement. She wants to keep the ring. Is she legally (let alone ethically) bound to return it? Thank you.

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Since the woman lives in Connecticut and presumably has the ring in her possession, Connecticut law applies.

There is no statutory requirement in Connecticut that she must return the ring. Therefore, if the man wants it back and she refuses to return it, he'll have to sue her for it in the appropriate court, and let the judge decide. My brief and admittedly superficial search of Connecticut case law indicates that the courts generally take a so-called "no-fault" stance. That is, the engagement ring (which is considered to be a gift conditional on the marriage taking place) must be returned to the donor if the marriage doesn't take place, regardless of who breaks off the engagement. This is how the judge would probably rule, unless there are other factors that make such a ruling inappropriate -- such as if the woman had contributed to all or part of the cost of the ring.

It will be up to the man to decide whether mounting a lawsuit to recover the ring is worth the time, trouble and expense. In my old-fashioned opinion, if the intrinsic value of the ring (which is, after all, a symbolic gift) is so great as to make a lawsuit worthwhile, it's too expensive and should never have been purchased in the first place. Just sayin'.

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Yes. He wanted the ring back. Woman finally saw the light and returned it, after his attorney sent a letter requesting same. How she could think of keeping the ring under the circumstances I cannot imagine. It takes all kinds to make the world go round, I guess.

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