When you get engaged you are not thinking about the possibility that your marriage could end. The engagement ring is a hopeful and joyous symbol and a promise of commitment. An engagement is a time of anticipation and happiness. When your marriage ends, the engagement ring can become a point of contention because it is so valuable. It is also an important symbol of the intentions that went into the marriage. What happens to it and who has the right to own it after a divorce are important questions.
Because the engagement ring is such a symbolic and emotional item, you may wonder why someone would want to keep it. Engagement rings are often the most expensive piece of jewelry a woman owns, and it can be sold after divorce. The diamond could also be reset into another piece of jewelry. Some people like to keep engagement rings and pass them down as heirloom jewelry. It is a matter of personal choice.
The laws about engagement rings vary by state, so it is important to understand the rules in Arizona so you know what your rights are to the engagement ring. In Arizona, the ring is legally a gift from the person who proposes to the recipient. Gifts are separate property and are not community property and thus are not divided in the divorce. The recipient keeps the ring if there is a divorce. If the relationship ends before the wedding, the gift should be returned because it is a gift given in contemplation of marriage. If there is no marriage, the gift is not complete.
Wedding bands are treated differently. They are usually gifts from one spouse to the other, so each would be able keep his or her own as part of the divorce. Anniversary bands given during marriage are also considered gifts and are separate property and kept by the recipient.
For assistance with your divorce or family law case, call the Sampair Group. Our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys represent clients in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Get in touch with us today.