I’ve had a few people in my life break off their engagement over the years. The question I often get asked is “Can I get my ring back?” or “Do I have to give the ring back?”.

For most people an engagement ring is a large investment sometimes having a very large price tag. So what does the law say? The answer is found in the legal concepts of conditional gift and unjust enrichment. In plain english the answer appears to be this: if the gift was given on the condition of marriage, and that marriage does not occur, you do not get to keep the gift. This being said, however, whether the gift will be returned to the original owner or its value divided as a family asset would be a fact specific determination made by the Court.

If you have recently separated and have questions about the ownership of any assets, a family law lawyer can help you make those determinations.