I was in a verbally and emotionally abusive relationship for the last 9 years. Last August he gave me an engagement ring and asked to move in to my apartment (I live in a 2 family upstairs from my mother and father) to save for a wedding.. He has only paid rent maybe once or twice but he said it was because he was saving for the wedding) He moved in on Sept 1st 2018. On Feb 1st 2018 he moved out behind my back while I was at work. He stated that one of the reasons was because I "pressured" him for a wedding date. I stayed with him to work on the relationship and we were still engaged. He told me he was living at his friend Anthony's in Chelmsford Ma and this was the reason I was unable to see him that often. I found out this past Sunday that he has really been living 10 min away from me. Since I have found out he wants nothing to do with me and has had a certified letter from his Union (Local 22 - Laborers Union) demand the ring back. Legally do I have to give this back as I was not at fault for the end of the engagement and will his union cover his attorney fees?
Legally, in MA an engagement ring is what is called a "conditional gift." What this means is that it is a gift made on the promise that you will get married. If you don't get married, you have to return the ring. It generally doesn't if you are at "fault" for ending the engagement, or if the other person called it off. Unless you can show that YOU called it off for a very good reason you have to return the ring. If you don't he can sue you for it (or its value). You can likewise sue him for any other money he owes you, but you can't simply keep the ring as compensation. There is no way to know if the union will cover his fees, but legally you are not responsible for them so that's his problem.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
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