For many good reasons, engagement and wedding rings often become objects of contention after a divorce. Not only are these symbolic gifts very emotional, they often come with high price tags attached.
In a perfect world, you and your ex-spouse would be on the same page with what to do with the ring after a divorce. However, if you and your ex-spouse are in a debate about what to do with the wedding ring, the courts will ultimately make the final decision. According to Forbes Magazine, the rules for this vary by state and also depend upon the ring’s overall attributes.
What attributes matter?
A big one is whether or not the ring is a family heirloom or not. If the ring has been in the ring-giver’s family for multiple generations, it is more likely that the courts will decide in favor of the ring-giver.
Additionally, whether the ring is marital or separate property matters a lot. If the courts consider the ring marital property, then it is likely the court will divide the value of the ring between the parties. If the courts consider the ring separate property, then the courts will generally favor the ring-recipient as the courts see the ring as a gift in return for an acceptance of engagement, and not marriage.
Does the value of the ring matter?
It is less about the actual dollar value of the ring. The same rules apply whether the ring is worth a few hundred dollars or multiple millions. However, if the ring is important to your post-divorce financial life, the courts are going to push a financially-prudent decision, such as selling the ring for cash value.