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Ask Freddie Lombard Your Own Question
Freddie Lombard
Freddie Lombard, Attorney
Category: South Africa Law
Satisfied Customers: 2458
Experience:  Practicing attorney and conveyancer with 16 years post article experience.
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My daughter and her fiance lived together for almost 2

Customer Question

Hi. My daughter and her fiance lived together for almost 2 years. 3 weeks ago he packed his stuff and move back to his mother. She had to arramge for a new place to stay and for a new tenant for the flat because she cannot afford it on her own. I have already paid deposits for the wedding...around R20000. He is now insisting that she needs to give the ring back, but she wants to sell it to repay me the loses incured so far. He is threatening with a law suite. How do we go about handling it.
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: Aaahh...I am sorry. I didn't see that this is not in South Africa.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No not yet.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: We are in South Africa....is that okay?
Submitted: 7 days ago.
Category: South Africa Law
Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 7 days ago.

Good afternoon,

Thank you for your question. I will try to assist you in answering it today but please feel free to ask as many follow up questions as you like until you are 100% satisfied.

An engagement ring is considered a conditional gift. In other words, the condition for the receiver of the ring to become the owner of the ring is that he/she will marry the giver of the ring.

In the event that the condition is not met, then the ring must be returned. The general rule/principle is that all gifts given during an engagement (with the exception of small tokens of affection) must be returned in the event that the engagement is terminated by mutual consent.

Now, there is an argument to be made that, should the man (in this case) have terminated the engagement (ie. making it impossible for the woman to meet the condition of marriage) that he will forfeit the condition and that she will be entitled to keep the ring. This is however a question of fact as to who is to blame for the termination of the engagement. I note that you wrote that he "packed his stuff and moved out" - but the question will be what lead to this event? Why did he move out and what caused it.

I cannot comment or be the judge of that, but that will determine whether she has any legitimate claim to the ring or not.

I hope this answered your question.

I know it will take an extra minute of your time to rate my service, but if you do not rate it, I do not get paid by the website so I would really appreciate it if you would be so kind as to rate my service positively. Feel free to ask further question here on this topic at no extra cost if you need more information.

Regards

Expert:  Freddie Lombard replied 5 days ago.

Did you receive my answer?