My ex fiance kept talking to my now ex best friend, I came to find out it was cause he wanted to have sex with her, and vise versa. And he started treating me like I was garbage, and my dad who lived with us, kept fighting with him and he kept fighting with me about my dad. So he moved not just out of the house but out of state. And now he wants the ring back. He has started to threaten me over it. And I am concerned about the best way to handle it.
If we're dealing with a marriage and divorce situation, then the spouses get to keep their respective rings. In this situation you weren't actually married, but I believe the same rule applies. I find it difficult to believe he would file a separate suit just to get the ring back, especially if he was the one who called off the wedding.
All this said, I don't have my law books in front of me right now, so if there is a lawyer who does, he or she could weigh in.
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Is a financee required to return her engagement ring or other gifts given during the couple's engagement? While neither the Utah Supreme Court or Court of Appeals has decided the engagement ring question, in the case of Hess v. Johnston, 163 P.3d 747 (2007), the court held that money the man had spent on trips, a vasectomy and a gift to his financee's son prior to marriage did not lead to unjust enrichment. In other words, the woman didn't have to pay him for any of these expenses because there was "no inherent inference that they were conditioned on the marriage."
This case left open the question of whether the woman would have been required to return her engagement ring after breaking the engagement because in this case she willingly did so. The court stated, "[we]need not address whether the gift of an engagement ring carries with it an implied condition of marriage requiring its return when the wedding does not ensue."
However, footnote 4 of the opinion may help you. While not saying it is a conditional gift I would argue they do lean towards that view.
4. We note the possible exception of the engagement ring. See, e.g., Fierro v. Hoel, 465 N.W.2d 669, 671 (Iowa Ct.App.1990) (“An engagement ring given in contemplation of marriage is an impliedly conditional gift.”); Heiman v. Parrish, 262 Kan. 926, 942 P.2d 631, 634 (1997) ( “Once it is established the ring is an engagement ring, it is a conditional gift.”). However, because Johnston returned the ring, Hess received back exactly that which he gave. Consequently, he has already received restitution, and this court need not address whether the gift of an engagement ring carries with it an implied condition of marriage requiring its return when the wedding does not ensue.
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