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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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If Ii took my ex-wife's engagement ring when I moved out,

Customer Question

if Ii took my ex-wife's engagement ring when I moved out, what can happen to me?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: no
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I left her the majority of everything else, but I was still paying on the ring, the jewelry store said I could just give it back.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

1) Are you still divorcing, or is the divorce finalized?

2) In the divorce, does it state who gets the ring? Or is the decree silent about the ring?

3) Did you take it before or AFTER the divorce was finalized?

This is not an answer, but an information request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I just left, when she asked me to. She was seeing someone else. no papers were filed (at least by me). I left her with the majority of all of our possessions. We were married just one year.
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
No, I don't need a call. I just want to know if she can have me arrested, or disrupt my work place.
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.

Thanks. The call is offered by the site - not me. I do not do calls anyhow, and if you had requested it, another expert would have called you.

Under California Civil Code section 1590, the statute has been interpreted to mean that the engagement ring was a gift, and it remains the the property of the wife at divorce.

However, at this point, there is no divorce (yet). The decision as to who gets what will not take place until later. This is a civil matter, and the police are unlikely to become involved. The most common scenario is that once she realizes you have it, then she can ask for it back in the decree of divorce (or sooner), and the Court would order that this be done so.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Please use the SEND or REPLY button to keep chatting, or please RATE when finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating. Kindly rate my answer as one of TOP THREE FACES/STARS and then SUBMIT, as this is how experts get credit for our time. Rating my answer the bottom two faces/stars (or failing to submit the rating) does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith with a positive rating.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
What about the wedding bands, which are separate? She only wears that on a different finger.
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
these are under a separate law, and it is not very clear cut. In California, by default, in most cases, the receiving spouse gets to keep the wedding band. So that means each keeps the band they wore.
Gentle Reminder: Please, use REPLY or SEND button to keep chatting, or RATE POSITIVELY and SUBMIT your rating when we are finished. You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.
Expert:  Ely replied 11 months ago.
Hello again. This is a courtesy check in to see if you needed anything else in regards ***** ***** question because you never responded or replied positively. I am simply touching base. Let me know. Thanks!