Girlfriend broke off engagement am I entitled to the ring or the money?

Asked about 1 year ago - Buffalo, NY

I was engaged to my Gf and we were to get married in May! She recently broke off the engagement and moved out! She has the Ring! I asked her for the ring back but she wont respond! she put 3k down on the Ring ! and I put 5200 on the ring! am I entitled to ask for the ring back and pay her the 3000 back or am I entitled to just have her pay me back the 5200 I invested and tell her she can keep the ring?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The general rule is that you get the ring back. You case has a twist because she paid for part of it. However, you certainly are entitled to what you paid.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases.... more
  2. Morghan L Richardson


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Consult with a local lawyer - she doesn't get to keep the ring. I agree that it is more complicated because she contributed to the purchase but maybe she will respond if you get a lawyer involved.

  3. Edwin Drantivy


    Contributor Level 18


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Promises made in consideration of marriage are covered under the Statute of Frauds and thus generally require a writing in order to become enforceable.if you want to guarantee the return of the ring, you need to satisfy the Statute of Frauds.

    This situation certainly could have been prevented if you had executed a written prenuptial agreement. It would be a good idea to keep that in mind for next time.

    You may have a cause of action for unjust enrichment in the amount of $5,200 or you can sue for return of the ring minus her costs incurred. Neither option guarantees victory.

    Her defense will probably be that you gave it to her as a gift.

    Either way, whether with this firm or another firm, you would be well-served to discuss your dilemma with a New York domestic relations attorney in a confidential forum as soon as possible. Good luck!

  4. John J. Carney


    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Under New-York state law the woman must return the ring is she breaks of the engagement.. I was a Small Claims Court arbitrator in Buffalo for years and I handled these cases as a judge and a lawyer and your best course of action is to retain an attorney to sue for the balance of the money and let her keep the ring. You will usually need a lawyer to not only try the case but collect the money. My Buffalo office handles there matters. Sometimes we are able to get a settlement with just a letter if she lives locally.
    John J. Carney Esq. 917 696 2363

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.


Ask now

27,921 answers this week

2,959 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

27,921 answers this week

2,959 attorneys answering

Legal Dictionary

Don't speak legalese? We define thousands of terms in plain English.

Browse our legal dictionary