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Giving back engagement ring

111 replies

GingerPCatt · 25/12/2019 23:36

SIL recently broke up with her fiancé. She had an argument with him and he ended it. The ring was quite expensive. He’s asked for the ring back and is giving her some furniture he bought when they moved in together. Should she give the ring back?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

138 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
cheesydoesit · 25/12/2019 23:39

I think I remember from previous threads that it is considered a gift and there is no requirement to return it. Happy to be corrected though.

I think he's being pretty crass.

RedHelenB · 25/12/2019 23:39

Yes she should give it back I'm on.

DivGirl · 25/12/2019 23:39

I think the generally considered etiquette is that if he ended it she doesn't have to return it (but, in my opinion should if he's asked), and if she ended it then she should offer to give it back.

NearlyGranny · 25/12/2019 23:43

Old-fashioned etiquette and law say she is entitled to keep it as it was a gift: commonsense and decency say give it back in a case like this.

Always give it back if it was his family heirloom. Only keep it if fiancé turned out to be financially abusive and selling it will help rectify things. Expect to realise about 10% of what it cost in the jeweller's window.

Why would anyone want it kicking around reminding them of broken plans and promises?

CoffeeBeansGalore · 25/12/2019 23:43

If he paid for it, yes. Historically a ring is given in promise of marriage. If the marriage does not happen, then the ring should go to the purchaser. I believe legally he is entitled to have it back, if as stated, he paid for it. Alternatively they could get it independantly valued & she could give him the money.

CalleighDoodle · 25/12/2019 23:44

She should give it back. He will likely get a shock when he tries to sell it and finds it isnt worth anything near what he paid.

Lockheart · 25/12/2019 23:45

Rather depends on their relationship, the ring, and the context of their breakup. There's no hard and fast rules.

Frozenfan2019 · 25/12/2019 23:46

Yes she should give it back.

FabTab · 25/12/2019 23:46

When I studied contract law as part of my degree I read it was a rebuttal presumption that it was a gift she could keep. Things that rebutted it included family heirloom etc.

Happinessinapeartree · 25/12/2019 23:46

Judge Judy says the ring always goes back as it was given in contemplation of marriage and if the marriage doesn't take place then back it goes.

JJ is never wrong.

BlueCornsihPixie · 25/12/2019 23:47

I would say shes not obligated to give it back. Technically it's a gift, however I think the decent thing to do is give it back. I don't really know why you'd want to keep am engagement ring that didn't work out

MissConductUS · 25/12/2019 23:47

It was a gift in contemplation of marriage. Legally he should get it back.

TheFaerieQueene · 25/12/2019 23:49

Judge Judy is based in the US. Their legal system is very different.

The ring is a gift - not subject to a contract. It is hers.

DonutMan · 25/12/2019 23:51

If he's not been an arsehole then I'd probs say give it back. Surely she's not going to want to wear it? So if she keeps it she's surely just doing it for the financial benefit of selling it and reaping the money he paid for it.

Sparklesocks · 25/12/2019 23:52

It’s a gift so she’s not under obligation to. I think I’d return it though as I wouldn’t want a reminder of my painful break up.

Dawsoncreek · 25/12/2019 23:53

She should give it back.

If he’s giving her furniture in return, that’s a swap.
If he’s not: common decency means she should.

FruitcakeOfHate · 25/12/2019 23:54

Depends. I kept one of mine. He was an abusive shit. I sold it.

LadyTiredWinterBottom2 · 25/12/2019 23:55

Why would she want to keep it? It's of no use to her. Does she want to sell it?

He has given her furniture. He seems to be reasonable. I would give it back. She might not need to legally but l wouldn't feel comfortable keeping it, nor would l want to.

Merryoldgoat · 25/12/2019 23:57

Unless it’s a family heirloom it’s hers IMO.

Alsohuman · 25/12/2019 23:58

It's of no use to her

Did all her fingers fall off? I must have missed that.

CoffeeBeansGalore · 25/12/2019 23:59

Good old google - my comment is wrong (I was going by Judge Judy, USA). I stand corrected as follows:

Under the The Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970 (yes 1970!) it quite clearly states:

“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.”

I have to say I cannot see many people proposing with a beautiful engagement ring and putting in the proviso that “if this engagement does not work out and we don’t get married, I will need the ring returned to me”. Not exactly the best footing to start a long-term relationship on.

It is extremely rare but an application can be made to the court for the return of the ring if no agreement can be reached. I would hope that this would not be the case given the likely value of the ring and the costs involved in going to court.

If you do go to court, the court would look at all the circumstances and decide whether it was expressly stated as above that the ring be returned or whether it was implied that the ring should be returned if the engagement broke down. Implied would normally cover the fact that the ring was a family heirloom passed down from generation to generation.

JacquesHammer · 25/12/2019 23:59

I think it’s rather crass to keep.

Summery1 · 25/12/2019 23:59

I gave mine back when I ended the engagement.
If I felt 'hard done by', I'd probably have kept it. My ex didn't ask.

It's a bit cheeky of him to ask, since he ended the relationship. I'd hold onto it for the short term, until my feelings were less raw to decide.

tillytrotter1 · 26/12/2019 00:02

If she keeps the ring then he keeps the furniture!

sue51 · 26/12/2019 00:03

Though its not a legal requirement, I would return it.

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