Skip to main content

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

Knoxville, TN |
Filed under: Marriage

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 ?

+ Read More

Attorney answers 2

Posted

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)

If any answer on AVVO helps you, mine or someone else’s, please mark it as "helpful" or "best answer" to help AVVO know which answers to show others. Thank you. This response may provide information relating to potential legal issues. Nevertheless, your review of any information contained herein is not a substitute for legal advice from qualified legal counsel. For this reason, you should not rely on this response as a source of legal advice. Your use of this information does not create any attorney-client agreement. In order to become a client of David C. Lee, you must negotiate a specific attorney–client agreement with an attorney from this law office.

Posted

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 you have a legal issue in Tennessee you may contact me for a free consult.

Family law topics

Recommended articles about Family law

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer