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Can I keep my engagement and wedding rings?

Published: 5th December 2021
Area: Family

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12 Days of Christmas - Day 5: Five gold rings

When a couple goes through a divorce, the process of separating out the assets in the marriage can cover the basics, like the family home, savings, and pensions. 

But when it comes to household contents (also known as ‘chattels’) this is an area that is best dealt with directly between the parties as costs can quickly escalate when this issue is negotiated through solicitors. However, when high-value jewellery is involved, these items can cause conflict. 

Wedding and engagement rings, in particular, can hold both monetary and emotional value, and the giver of those rings may believe that they are entitled to half the value, or even to have them returned. 

In law, the giving of a ring is presumed to be a gift, and therefore it does not have to be returned. There may be an argument if an engagement is broken off, that the ring was given on the condition that it should be returned if the marriage did not take place. However, even though unfair, the recipient is not obliged to return it. 

Despite this, if the ring is of very significant value, this figure may be taken into account as part of the overall settlement. 

So, whether you have just the one or five gold rings from previous marriages, chances are they are yours to keep! 

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Nikki deals with all areas of family law, with a particular interest in complex financial cases.

Nikki is known for her ‘no-nonsense’ approach, yet maintains her friendly and down-to-earth manner.

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