Law Offices of Barry I. Finkel, P.A.
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Do you need to give the wedding ring back?

Your husband gave you a ring when the two of you got engaged, and then you added a wedding band when you officially tied the knot. Now you have decided to get divorced, and your husband insists that you need to give it back.

After all, he bought it. It was just a gift that he gave you when he thought you would stay in his life forever. It cost him quite a lot -- more than either of you would like to admit -- and he does not want to lose that much money on a failed marriage.

Is he right? Do you have to give it back?

Probably not. Most of the time, the ring counts as your property because you received the gift before you got married. If the two of you paid for it together after the wedding, then it would at least count as a marital asset, so it has to go through the property division process. Odds are that your spouse cannot fully claim the ring in either case.

Of course, exceptions to the rule almost always exist. In this case, the most common exception happens before the marriage. If you decide not to get married at all, you may need to return the ring on the grounds that it was a conditional gift. However, if you got married and now are getting divorced, that no longer applies.

Property division may be hotly contested during a divorce, especially with expensive assets. Make sure that you fully understand all of the legal rights you have.

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