When a couple decides to get married, the thought of breaking up rarely crosses their minds. However, breakups happen. Whether it’s before or after a wedding, the question of who gets the engagement ring is up for debate.
In Pennsylvania, the laws for who gets the rings are very different depending on when your relationship ended. Every divorce is different, and the laws that apply fluctuate depending on the situation.
What happens if you breakup before the wedding?
Under Pennsylvania law, the ring does not automatically become the property of the person who received it. If a couple is unmarried, the state considers an engagement ring a conditional gift until the couple has completed the marriage.
If they break the relationship off before the marriage, the engagement ring is entitled to the partner who gave the ring. This is because they spent the money originally. If they get the ring back, they have the option to get most, if not all, of their money back.
What happens if you breakup after the wedding?
If the couple splits after the marriage, the laws aren’t as clear. Because your property becomes merged, both parties are entitled to the ring. The couple can divide an engagement ring in a divorce because the state considers them a gift. They can split any gift up during a divorce because they are a part of the martial estate.
Wedding rings, on the other hand, are much more complicated. Wedding rings are typically purchased before the wedding and they are not always considered part of the marital estate. Who gets the rings is dictated by who bought the rings in the first place. If one person bought the rings, they can keep their own ring while the state sees the other ring as a gift to the spouse. If both parties bought the rings together, they will divide the rings up in the divorce.
If you’re ending your relationship, it’s important to know what your options are when it comes to the rings. Knowing what’s fair and what the laws are can help you get the rings you’re entitled to.