When a couple makes a promise of marriage to each other, there is usually the giving and taking of an engagement ring. But if the spouses should decide to divorce one day, what happens to that ring, which is likely still on a spouse’s finger? It’s also likely the ring is worth quite a bit of money. Couples in Texas who are embroiled in a high asset divorce will want to know how the ring fits into their assets, and the answer isn’t always black and white.
Laws regarding keeping expensive gifts is not the same in every state, and those laws aren’t always clear. The best outcome is when the couple can actually agree on what should happen to the ring; however, if that is not possible, a family court judge will make the decision. If, for instance, the engagement ring is a family heirloom, it may not be included in the list of marital assets, and a judge may order it to be returned to the family from where it came. If it is not possible for the recipient of the ring to keep it, a judge might rule that the recipient is entitled to a part of its appraised value.
The ring and the financial picture
The person to whom the ring was gifted may be counting on its value for financial health. If the ring is important in that respect, that spouse may insist it be included in a divorce settlement. The person may have strong emotions attached to such a personal thing, so experts suggest an engagement ring could always be sold, repurposed or given to a child as a gift.
It might be prudent to seek independent legal advice from a Texas lawyer experienced in high asset divorce situations when it comes to valuable objects like an engagement ring. Is the ring considered separate property or marital property? It’s not always apparent, and things typically go much smoother, leading to a better outcome when one develops an understanding of all applicable divorce laws.