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PlotinusLaw, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 738
Experience:  14 years of practice in all aspects of family law.
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I was engaged. He lived with me for about 6 months. He did

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I was engaged. He lived with me for about 6 months. He did not contribute to the household - help with groceries or utilities. I broke off engagement back in May because he would not sign a prenuptual agreement. He now wants the engagement ring back. I told him no that I felt that he had given it to me and that I also feel that he owes me for living here. He says legally he is the owner of the ring and still owes money on it and that he did contribute because he took me out to dinner once in awhile (I thought those were dates). So who should get the ring?
Hello and thank you for your question. I am sorry about your broken engagement. Your issue with the engagement ring, even though it comes up within the context of domestic relations, is really more of a property/contract issue. Technically, the ring is a gift. He gave it to you. In order to get it back, he would have to bring a law suit against you to compel you to return the ring, or compensate him for the fair market value of the ring. He could base such a lawsuit on a breach of contract claim, or promissory estoppel claim. However, because there is nothing in writing between you, you mentioned that he would not sign a prenuptual agreement, it will be very difficult for him to prevail on any of the aforementionned claims because there are no written terms that define the status of the ring. He gave it to you, and there is no written understanding between you as to what happens to the ring in the event that the engagement is called off. Ironically, he would have had more protection had he agreed to signing a prenuptual agreement. I can't advise you as to whether you should keep the ring. I can only tell you that he does not have a very strong legal basis for insisting on its return. I hope you have found this answer helpful. Please remember to click the "accept" button so that I can receive credit for the answer and any feedback you may have. Best of luck to you in your decision.
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