What To Do With The Wedding Ring After Divorce
Experienced Family Lawyers Discuss Getting Divorced In Arizona & What Happens To The Wedding Ring
It’s always sad when a relationship ends, but there are additional concerns if the couple has progressed to engagement or marriage. Depending on the couple’s circumstances, the engagement and wedding rings may be considerable assets. They also likely have high sentimental value. If you’re debating what to do with an engagement ring or wedding band after a divorce, read on to learn your rights and options.
Who Keeps The Engagement Ring When Divorcing in Arizona?
The owner of an engagement ring mostly depends on whether or not the marriage eventually took place. If the couple broke up before the wedding, most states have held that the proposer gave the ring to the recipient as a conditional gift. The condition would be that the two would marry. So, if the engagement is broken, the condition has not been met, and the ring should be returned to the proposer. Most of the litigation on the subject is in the context of a man proposing to a woman, but the language allows for these rules to apply when a woman proposes, or for same sex couples, as marriage structures evolve. In some states, like California and Texas, the recipient gets to keep the engagement ring, even if the couple never marries, if the proposer breaks off the engagement.
If the couple does get married, the condition of getting married for the conditional gift of an engagement ring has been met. This means it is a gift from the proposer to the recipient made before the marriage. This is relevant in a community property state- everything obtained during the marriage is split evenly between the spouses. Because an engagement ring is a gift given before the marriage occurs, it fully belongs to the recipient and isn’t subject to community property division in a divorce.
Unlike engagement rings, wedding rings are viewed as a gift given during the marriage, not before. This means they are a marital asset just like cars, homes, and other property acquired during the marriage. Some spouses choose to keep their own wedding bands in a divorce, but they may also sell the rings and contribute the funds to the marital estate. Their value will be split during the spouses, along with the rest of their assets, during property division.
Ideas On What To Do With Your Wedding Ring When Divorcing
You may have seen your favorite television and movie characters throw out the ring or flush it down the toilet. While that may provide a cathartic moment, your ring likely has enough value that the temporary release isn’t worth it.
Here are some alternative suggestions of what you can do with a wedding ring after divorce:
1. Sell Your Wedding Ring It
This is probably your second thought, behind flushing it. Some may take their ring to a pawn shop in a pinch, but you can probably get a better value elsewhere. A gold dealer will melt down your ring and give you the gold’s value. A jeweler, even if it’s not the original store of purchase, may buy your ring for resale. You can also auction off the ring online or sell it privately. Divorce is expensive, and these funds could be crucial as you adjust to single life.
2. Return The Ring To Your Ex
If the ring isn’t particularly valuable, or is a family heirloom, it may serve you to simply return it to your ex. This can be just as grand of a statement as flushing or pawning the ring, except you get to be the bigger person. If the ring was your ex’s family heirloom, you may feel less guilt in the long run if you return the ring. Your ex’s siblings or other relatives shouldn’t be deprived of a family heirloom due to pettiness.
3. Return It To The Jewelry Store
If you’re lucky, the jewelry store where the ring was purchased may accept returns or exchanges. You may not be able to get your money back, but the store may let you trade the ring for other jewelry of the same value. This becomes more unlikely the longer after the ring is given as a gift, but the worst the store can say is no.
4. Keep The Ring As An Heirloom
While clearly something led to you breaking up, there may have been plenty of happy times worth remembering in your relationship. If you two had children together, you may want to hold on to the ring as a gift for them some day.
5. Redesign Wedding Ring
You may not want a constant reminder of your failed relationship, but the rock may just be simply gorgeous. Many jewelers would love this opportunity to express their creativity. The stone/s from your ring could make a beautiful necklace, earrings, etc. This would also be an opportunity to create an heirloom for your children.
Contact Experienced Family Law Attorneys In Phoenix, AZ
Divorce is never easy, and deciding what to do with your ring can be just another painful step of the process. You may find it difficult to choose between the emotional and sentimental values of your ring. But in the grand scheme of a divorce, this is one of the least of your worries. Besides property division, you will also need to worry about issues like spousal maintenance, child support, and child custody. Some of these orders are absolutely final, and the rest are difficult and expensive to overturn.
You don’t have to make all of the decisions regarding your divorce alone. Before getting rid of your ring or filing your divorce petition, it’s important that you understand how state law affects your situation. This is best facilitated with the advice of a knowledgeable and experienced family law attorney.
Arizona Family Lawyers Aren’t All Expensive
There is an age-old stereotype that divorce attorneys charge exorbitant fees, and only the highly privileged can afford them. At My AZ Lawyers, this simply isn’t true. Our Arizona Family Lawyers offer free initial consultations so that reputable family law advice is available for Arizona residents. Plus, our divorce attorneys offer competitive rates. Additionally, you may even qualify for one of our payment plan options. To learn more about your rights and options, and receive a free quote for legal representation, call (480) 263-1699 to schedule your free consultation today!