Rings and Divorce: What Are the Rules and Expectations in California?

divorce lawyersWedding and engagement rings play a major role in most marriages in the US. As representations of love and commitment, their symbolic significance is perhaps only matched by their financial significance. These days, the typical wedding ring costs upwards of $6,000 and much, much more depending on the couples’ financial standing. 

Naturally, some people are inclined to want to keep or recover wedding or engagement rings. Their resale value is usually high, and even in cases where the ring might not be worth much, there could be significant emotional attachment. 

Today’s post is a quick look at the rules and expectations when it comes to marriage and engagement rings for marriages that were terminated or never took place. Let’s start by looking at what California family law has to say about this.

Rings After Divorce as Per CA Family Law

In California, wedding and engagement rings are considered conditional gifts. This means that, unless the condition of marriage is met, the person who gifted the ring is fully entitled to get it back if they request it. The law itself is clear cut, but disputes about who gets to keep the ring may still arise. In these cases, the family law courts might deem it necessary to step in and help solve the matter. In these cases, the outcomes are usually designed to give the original giver of the ring his/her investment back either in the form of the ring itself or an alternate payment. 

Property Division in a No-Fault State

What about in cases where the ring giver may have acted in bad faith, or was directly responsible for the divorce? In these cases, it is important to remember that California is a no-fault state. This means that regardless of the circumstances, either party can terminate the divorce and “fault” is not accounted for during asset division. 

Talk to a Skilled Attorney About Asset Division and Divorce Today

While the courts will usually default to the laws and statutes surrounding rings in CA, there are some cases where factors such as an existing prenup could lead to deviations. Even in straightforward cases though, it’s critical that you recruit the assistance of your own legal counsel, a professional attorney who is there to advocate for you during every step of the way.

At R & S Law Group, LLP, we offer free initial consultations. Give us a call at (949) 825-5245 to schedule an appointment with our team of legal experts today.