Married for little over two years. I have a moral issue with spending money on engagement / weddings rings. I think it is a silly tradition, a marketing gimmick, and a waste of precious resources. Prior to engagement, I explained this to now wife and was very clear that in the event of broken engagement I expected wedding / engagement rings to be either returned to me or reimbursed for them. We are getting a divorce. Can I get the rings back / or get reimbursed for amount of money I spent? (roughly 3,000-4,000, which is a lot of money to me right now).
In California, it is considered a gift, so the other party does not get the engagement and or wedding ring back. There is room for argument that the wedding ring is an investment, and thus a community asset to be divided. Please consult with a local family law attorney to answer your question. Best of luck!
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There is a long answer for this but I will give you the short answer. Your wife so long as she did marry you. The situation may be different with a broken off engagement.
the rings were a "conditional gift" or as you said, given in contemplation of marriage. If you married her, the condition was satisfied, and therefore the gift was completed. Donative intent plus delivery = absolute gift.
You do not get the rings back ( unless you had a prenuptial agreement - a premarital contract that binds her by contract to return the ring).
As a general rule, engagement rings are conditional gifts. The condition being the marriage. Once married there is no basis for invalidating the completed gift. Now you may be thinking about the understanding regarding return or reimbursement for the cost of the rings. There may be an evidence problem (read "Statute of Frauds") here. Was this understanding reduced to writing? Did your wife sign anything?
In the final analysis, you may be on the wrong side of this issue both in terms of the law as well as the optics related to a divorcing husband asking for the return of the engagement and wedding rings. Check your local law, but things don't look good on this one.
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