This is an annual Public Service Announcement about engagement rings. Open any social media page, and you will surely see lots of engagements around Valentine’s Day, which is a traditional gift-giving holiday. But lovers beware and be aware—if an engagement ends without a resulting marriage, the ring must be returned to the proposer.
Fault has nothing to do with who gets to keep the engagement ring in New Jersey because it is considered a conditional gift. The condition? An eventual marriage.
Conditional vs. Unconditional Gifts-An Important Distinction
If you get down on one knee to propose on a gift-giving holiday, you may end up on both knees begging for the ring back if the engagement ends. If the other person wants to keep the ring, he or she could allege that the engagement ring was intended as an UNconditional gift—no “I do” required—since it was given on a traditional gift-giving holiday.
Whether the ring recipient would ultimately be successful making that claim would depend on the facts surrounding the engagement (or lack thereof).
Keep it Unconditional
But, better safe than sorry. In lieu of giving an engagement ring on Valentine’s Day, you might go the more traditional route—flowers, chocolates, teddy bears. Keep it simple and save the ring for another day.
If you do happen to get engaged on Valentine’s Day, or at any other time, contact Rigden Lieberman, LLC for your prenuptial agreement drafting or review needs.