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Wedding rings resting on the word divorce.
With engagement rings becoming a more expensive and expressive, think Luisa Zissman and her estimated £1.5 million pound rock, but what happens to the ring if your fiancée breaks off the relationship? 
Our Divorce Law Solicitors discuss the position surrounding ownership of the engagement ring. 

If my ex breaks off the engagement, can I legally ask for the ring back? 

Generally speaking, an engagement ring will be considered an “absolute gift” accordingly it will belong to the person to whom it was given. 

If they called the wedding off, can I have the ring back? 

As the ring is considered an absolute gift, the law will not consider which partner calls off the engagement so regardless of who broke the relationship off, the engagement ring does not have to be returned. 

Can I specify that the engagement ring has to be given back to me if the marriage does not happen? 

In circumstances where the ring is given but it is stated that the ring must be given back if the wedding does not go ahead then of course the ring should be given back. That said, the practicalities of this are difficult, the romance of getting engaged may seem a little “watered down” if you have taken the precaution of getting a statement, in writing, that the ring will be returned in the event that the wedding does not take place. 

Contact our Family Law specialists 

If the engagement ring is a family heirloom do I have to give it back if we don’t get married? 

The Court may assume that there is an implied intention that a treasured family heirloom would be returned if the couple were to separate. Although proving intention is notoriously tricky. 

Do I need a prenup to make sure I get my engagement ring back if we separate? 

You can read more about prenups, here. Should you decide to arrange a prenuptial agreement, then ownership of the ring may be something you look to include within the agreement. That said, in the UK, prenup agreements are not considered legally binding, the Court does not have to follow the agreement to the letter, should it choose not to, although they will now give heavy-weighting to the terms agreed. 
Generally, like nearly all aspects of English Law, the concept on the face of it is fairly simple: on the face of it the ownership of the engagement ring belongs to the person to whom is was given however there are a couple of catches such as family heirlooms or prior agreements when the engagement ring should be returned. 
In most cases such a matter can be dealt with amicably, but should you need the assistance of our Family Law advisors contact us now via or call 01524 581 306. 
MG Legal - Your Local Solicitors 
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