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Ellen
Ellen, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 36714
Experience:  25 years of experience helping people like you.
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I gave and engagement ring and a wedding ring after proposing

Customer Question

I gave and engagement ring and a wedding ring after proposing to my girlfiend. A number of months later for economic reasons I could not afford to buy the house we were looking at. She said she thought that I was no longer interested. I explained that it was purely economic and the wedding is still on. We never live together. She lived in her home with her 2 children and the father of the children (no relationship exsists between them. I have spent a lot of money supporting her and her kids with nothing in return.. The relationship has gone sour and I want my rings back.. What are my rights under Florida law? I need to know the statute or case law so that I can enforce the return of the ring!
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.

Hello,


Thank you for your question. I am happy to assist you.


She must return the ring because it was a conditional gift, a gift made under the condition of marriage.


Here is why.


An unconditional gift is a gift that is given without any expectation of reciprocation or in expectation of anything in return. That is, there are no "conditions" on either the giving or the receiving of the gift.

For example, a birthday present is usually given because it is the recipient’s birthday, and not because the recipient will then become obligated to do something in exchange, nor will the giver now be entitled to expect something from the recipient.

A "conditional gift" is one that is done in anticipation of something or in reciprocation of something. An engagement ring is typically a "conditional gift"; that is, it was given on the condition of getting married. Another ring, not given as an engagement ring, but solely out of love for the recipient, is an "unconditional gift".


An engagement ring is a gift made in contemplation of marriage with the gift conditioned upon the marriage actually taking place. If the marriage takes place, the condition is satisfied, and the donee is permitted to keep the ring. Conversely, if the marriage does not occur, the would-be-bride must return the ring without regard to "fault".

There is no statute that I can give you that specifically addresses rings. This is a contract law principal with case law dating back over 30 years on the issue. You will need to file a replevin action to recover the ring.


I hope that the information which I provided was helpful to you.


Best wishes for a successful outcome. If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to submit them to me directly.


Thank you,


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THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS. PLEASE CONSULT A LAWYER IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE

Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.
Hello,

Your additional information just showed on my screen. The police did not assist you because this is not a criminal matter. It is a civil matter. You will need to file an action for replevin.

Let me know if you need additional information.

I hope that this information has helped you.


If I can be of assistance in the future, please ask for .


Bonus and Positive Feedback = job well done.



THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS. PLEASE CONSULT A LAWYER IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
this is not what I need to know! I need statute information to fight this in court if I have to!
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.
There is not a statute that states " if we do not marry, she gives back the ring".

It is your ring since the condition that the ring was given under was the condition of marriage and the condition was not fulfilled.

You will need to file a replevin action for return of the ring. The police cannot assist you as it is a civil matter.

If you look above at my answer, you can see that another attorney has agreed with my answer.

I hope that this information has helped you.


If I can be of assistance in the future, please ask for .


Bonus and Positive Feedback = job well done.


THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS. PLEASE CONSULT A LAWYER IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I need case law and a statute!
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
what about case law?? Florida?
Expert:  Ellen replied 8 years ago.
Gill v. Shively, 320 So. 2d 415 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1975) established the case law precedent in Florida. It is still good law.

Bonus and Positive Feedback = job well done.

THIS IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP EXISTS. PLEASE CONSULT A LAWYER IN YOUR STATE FOR LEGAL ADVICE