My ex-girlfriend and I broke off an engagement and I want my engagement ring back? How can I get the ring back?

Asked over 1 year ago - Knoxville, TN

We were in a relationship for 3 yrs . and we had 2 children together . When she was pregnant with the second child the relationship ended . Tried to get back together but it didn't work . We were engaged to be married but it just didn't work out that way . During as arguement I told her that I wanted the engagement ring back she said she would but decided that she was to keep the ring . Am I entitled to receive my engagement ring since the wedding take place ?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. David Craig Lee

    Contributor Level 15

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    Answered . You can sue, and quote the following case law in Tennessee:

    "In summary, we hold that an engagement ring is given in contemplation of marriage, and, as such, is impliedly a conditional gift. If marriage, for whatever reason, does not ensue, ownership of the ring never vests in the donee and the donor is entitled to the return of the ring. We recognize that there are cases holding that a donee is entitled to retain an engagement ring when the donor is responsible for the failed engagement. See, e.g., White v. Finch, 3 Conn. Cir. Ct. 138, 209 A.2d 199, 201 (Conn. Cir. Ct. 1964) ("where an engagement is broken owing to the fault of the donor, he may not recover the ring"). We decline to follow these cases because we believe the rule adopted by us is more in keeping with the essence of what occurs, and what is contemplated, at the time of an engagement. If and when that which the parties contemplated -- the marriage -- does not occur, the engagement ring goes back to the one who gave it.


    Crippen v. Campbell, 2007 Tenn. App. LEXIS 600, 9, 2007 WL 2768076 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 24, 2007)

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  2. Jon Daniel Long

    Contributor Level 12

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    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Tennessee treats the giving of engagement rings as a conditional gift. The gift is not complete until the wedding takes place and ownership of the property remains with the gift giver until that time.

    If you gave her an engagement ring and the wedding never took place, you are entitled to receive the ring back from her. If she will not voluntarily give back the ring, you can file a suit to recover your property. If the value is under $25,000 you can file in general sessions court, if not file in circuit court.

    This answer does not constitute legal advice nor form an attorney client relationship. I am not your lawyer. If... more

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