Is an engagement ring considered a contract?
It’s finally official — you and your beloved are getting married. The planning for your future begins, yet you’re a little hesitant about marriage. Are you really sure he’s the one for you? As time progresses and the big day gets closer, your doubts grow stronger and stronger. Finally you’ve decided and call the engagement off. But, what about the shiny diamond ring? Who keeps it? And is it considered a contract?
Let’s hope this situation never happens to you. But it’s a good question: Who gets the ring after the engagement is called off? Surprisingly, the law can vary from state to state. In New Jersey, an engagement ring is considered a conditional gift. This means the gift was given with the expectation that an even will happen in the future. If, for whatever reason, the event does not take place than the gift “failed” and the person who gave the gift does have the right to take it back.
For instance, in the New Jersey court case Aronow v. Silver, an engagement had broken up and former fiancé and wanted the ring returned to him. The court decided that since the ring was a gift, and the marriage never took place, then the ring must be returned to him, even if he wasn’t the one to break up the engagement. So essentially, yes, an engagement ring in the state of New Jersey can be considered almost a contract.
So before considering getting engaged, make sure it’s the right fit.
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