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I gave and engagement ring and a wedding ring after proposing

Resolved 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?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  LawHelpNow replied 8 years ago.

Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance as I answer your question.

  1. I am a licensed attorney, and I will be glad to try and answer your question. I hope that the following information will be helpful to you, but please just write back if you have any follow-up questions or need clarification on anything after reviewing the following information.
  2. There has been much litigation over this issue, but the botXXXXX XXXXXne is that under Florida law you are entitled to the return of your rings. There are basically two approaches that the Court take in these cases. The first is that fault determines entitlement to a ring. The second is that fault is not considered. Rather, the giving of the ring is viewed as bestowing upon the donee a conditional gift. The condition is marriage. When that condition fails, the donor is entitled to a return of the ring. Florida follows the second approach.
  3. The Florida court in Gill v. Shively, 320 So. 2d 415 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1975), similarly followed this rule in a case where the appellant/donor gave the appellee/donee a diamond engagement ring worth $3,620. Two weeks later, the appellee said she did not feel she was ready for marriage. The appellant brought a replevin action for return of the ring. His complaint was dismissed. The court of appeal reversed. It held that the ring was not an absolute gift but was conditioned on the consummation of the marriage. The condition failed. Thus, appellant had a valid cause of action. What all of this boils down to is under Florida law the rings come back to you.

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The information provided is general in nature only and should not be construed as legal advice. By using this forum, you acknowledge that no attorney-client relationship has been created between you and Benjamin M. Burt, Jr., Esq. You should always consult with a lawyer in your state.

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