Family Law Questions? Ask a Family Lawyer Online.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question.
Are you talking about the actual engagement as being a binding contract for the parties to agree to get married?
Or are you talking about setting out in a contract what happens to the engagement ring?
Correct, a marriage is a legal contract and a legal covenant... But an engagement is just a promise to get married, not an actual marriage.
But as for the actual engagement, yes, you can enter into a contract that states you get the ring back and she pays half of the engagement costs and that would be entirely legally binding. You couldn't force her to get married in the contract as that is against public policy and the courts wouldn't enforce it. But you could set out in a contract what happens in the event that the marriage is called off and who is responsible for what costs..
Yes, that is correct. Generally as a matter of law, an engagement ring is a conditional gift, meaning that it is only a finalized gift if the marriage occurs. If it falls apart before marriage, then the person who gave the ring (generally the male) gets the ring back.
But there is nothing that would prevent the parties from specifically agreeing in a written contract what happens and who pays what. That will clearly define what both side's responsibilities are if things don't work out and would be enforceable.
You are very welcome. And there is nothing at all that would prevent you from writing up your own contract setting out what terms you want in it and then having both people sign, date and have notarized. Then you have a completely legally binding contract..
So if you did it, it would cost nothing and be just as legally binding as if you paid an attorney a couple hundred dollars to draft up..
You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.
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