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Real life MMD: Should I ask my ex for the ring back?

edited 18 October 2011 at 7:27PM in MoneySaving polls
72 replies 22.4K views


  • edited 19 October 2011 at 8:03AM
    DrScotsmanDrScotsman Forumite
    996 Posts
    edited 19 October 2011 at 8:03AM
    Am I missing something? Some people are saying if he broke the engagement then she should keep it. Are you guys assuming that breaking off the engagement is the same as being at fault in the relationship?

    Example: They got engaged then she cheats, but she doesn't want to break up, so he breaks it off. She's at fault, he broke it off. Morally, do you really think she deserves the ring?
  • MoreOnMoreOn Forumite
    393 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Ancient law on engagements "breach of promise"... if she was at fault use it...
  • I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that, since the ring is only given as a token with the expectation of marriage, if the marriage does not go ahead, she should return the ring. However, without consulting a solicitor (is the re-sale value worth the hassle?) you can't know for sure. It depends on how strongly you feel about it. If you really want the ring back, phone a local solicitor and ask advice.
  • Ebenezer_ScrewjEbenezer_Screwj Forumite
    437 Posts
    If you can afford to spend £3000 on a ring in these difficult economic times, you can afford to lose it.
    It was a gift, forget about getting it back.
  • XRATXRAT Forumite
    238 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    You gave her a ring, you didn't lend her a ring. It's hers.

    (Male viewpoint)
  • when me and my ex fiance split (under ok-ish terms, not great but ok) I offered to give him all the jewelry back that he had given me including engagement ring and he said no, I gave them all to you as a gift. I hate you at the moment but they are yours to do as you want. And I was the 1 to split with him.
  • I'm with everyone else - if she split up with you then she should give it back, if you split up with her then chalk it up to experience. Although if she'd done something to 'make' you break up with her such as cheating then the honourable thing would be to return it. Legally though it's a gift given in good faith at the time, so it's hers to do with as she pleases.

    If you're still on speaking terms I'd ask her why she wants to keep it (or get a mutual friend to ask), but then I'm nosey...
    "A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." - Tyrion Lannister
    Married my best friend 1st November 2014
    Loose = the opposite of tight (eg "These trousers feel a little loose")
    Lose = the opposite of find/gain (eg "I'm going to lose weight this year")
  • I agree with cuba2008. An engagement ring is if you do actually get married so if you are not getting married then she should give the ring back. Why would she want to keep it anyway?
  • If you could comfortably afford the ring at the time (assuming it wasn't too long ago) then you should be fine without the having to sell the ring to recoup money. If you couldn't afford the ring when you bought it then more fool you!!
    I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be
  • Law in England & Wales on this:

    Law Reform (Misc Provisions) Act 1970 c33 -
    section 3.— Gifts between engaged couples.

    (1) A party to an agreement to marry who makes a gift of property to the other party to the agreement on the condition (express or implied) that it shall be returned if the agreement is terminated shall not be prevented from recovering the property by reason only of his having terminated the agreement.

    (2) The gift of an engagement ring shall be presumed to be an absolute gift; this presumption may be rebutted by proving that the ring was given on the condition, express or implied, that it should be returned if the marriage did not take place for any reason.

    So unless you have proof of some sort that the gift of the engagement ring was conditional on marriage, then it's hers to keep. As others have stated, a family heirloom may be implied to be returnable - a purchased ring much less likely to be so.

    Fyi, the position in Scots Law is very similar, but is not made explicit by statute.
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