What Happens to the Engagement Ring–Mediation Style

Today, the New York Times featured two pieces on what happens to the engagement ring in the case of divorce and broken engagements–one legal https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/fashion/weddings/should-you-give-the-engagement-ring-back.html.  In New York, it is well settled that a ring is a gift in contemplation of marriage and if the marriage does not occur, then the ring is returned.  After they tie the knot, the ring is the property of the recipient.  The second article is about the jewelry itself and all the creative ways divorcing women re-set and go on to use and enjoy gifts former spouses gave them during the marriage. Sometimes, gifts of jewelry from the marriage are sold for needed cash, while other times they are repurposed into new baubles.  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/18/fashion/weddings/the-marriage-is-over-but-the-jewelry-is-mine.html?action=click&contentCollection=Weddings&module=RelatedCoverage®ion=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article. In mediation, we often see a more cooperative spirit with divorcing parties agreeing to use the proceeds from the sale of an engagement, if needed, to fund other priorities.  These may include funding a 529 college savings account, or paying down a mortgage or outstanding credit card debt, as a few examples. Couples often take the time to discuss the emotional weight of the engagement ring and balance their values alongside their financial reality, not to mention their understanding of the law.


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