Typically, engagement and wedding rings aren’t among the assets that couples typically spend a lot of time battling over during divorce. Usually, gifts that a spouse receives individually (including those from their husband or wife) are considered separate property that they’re allowed to keep. If they no longer want to hang onto them, they may sell them, donate them or hand them down to a child or other family member.
Where things can get a bit contentious is if a ring is a family heirloom. These are typically women’s engagement and wedding rings. However, men’s rings have come a long way from the slim gold wedding bands our grandfathers wore (if they wore one at all).
If you’d like that family heirloom back from your future ex-spouse (particularly if there are no children to hand it down to), you have a right to ask for it. You may need to be prepared to give up something in return for it.
Were they included in a prenup?
If you included this and perhaps other family heirlooms in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement as items to be returned to you in a divorce, that makes the matter easier to resolve. You should be able to get it back without having to barter other assets for it.
If there’s no agreement addressing the rings and your spouse is willing to return them in exchange for something else, you’ll probably need to get them appraised. You may have forgotten what you paid for them years ago. You may have also gotten what you thought was a pretty good deal for something that it turns out is completely fake.
Jewelry and family heirlooms may not be the most monetarily valuable assets you deal with in your divorce. However, they can carry considerable emotional value. That’s just one reason it’s wise to have solid legal guidance to prevent them from derailing more important negotiations.