Divorce Etiquette. What about the ring?

blue cupcake ring tiffany wedding ring Favim.com 55881 Divorce Etiquette. What about the ring? I was ready. I had spent several months doing my homework. I had been educated on what to look for and had been indoctrinated with the financial ground rules. Now it was time to put on my big boy underwear and move to the next stage of my life. It was time to get engaged.

It’s interesting that when you’re contemplating marriage every bloody commercial on TV has something to do with jewelry. As if some unseen force is getting you to second guess your decision.

“A diamond is forever”

“Give her a memory that will last a lifetime”.

“How else can you make two months salary last forever?”

She and I had talked about it and made enough trips to jewelry stores that I had the ring size and her preferred cut and style emblazoned on my brain. But the matter of stone size rested squarely on my shoulders. I mean it was my two months salary being spent, right? The pressure was intense, aside from the obvious concern of whether she’d say yes, the size of this ring would ultimately be a direct reflection on my manhood. Where I to be responsible and purchase something that actually fit into the budget then my ego might surely take a hit. But if I got macho and put a ring on her that necessitated an arm security detail then I would be a man among men, albeit a broke one. So I did what any Economics major might, I bypassed the middle man and went straight to the wholesaler. This let me achieve the necessary size requirements to satisfy all parties and my ego, plus I was still able to pay rent at the end of the month. 

I won’t bore you with the details of the grand-slam I hit when I popped the question and presented her with the rock; but let’s just say that my buddies at the time would need to pull out all the stops to one-up me. It was that brilliant!

But this post isn’t about Disneyland fantasies and happily ever afters. Instead this is a conversation on the rules of engagement after the honeymoon is over, family and friends have gone home, and the divorce papers come out. During the seperation process everything is accounted for “I’ll take this, you take that”. The furniture, electronics, right down to the fake flowers sitting on the end table are logged and tallied. But in all of that it seems the engagement ring, that symbol of till death do us part, gets overlooked or avoided in the chaos and emotion.

I remember shortly before finalizing my own divorce, after the house was under contract and we had amicably split up most of the stuff, I asked about the ring.

Me – “I’ think I should get the ring back.”

Her- “No, that ring was a gift from you”

Me – “That ring was actually a symbol of a marriage that is over, why would you still want it?”

Her – “I will give it to our daughter when she gets older.”

I have asked about getting the engagement ring back twice early on after we split and both times the response was the same. Then a recent post by fellow blogger Divorce Encouragist got me to thinking about this topic again.

When the marriage is over who should get the engagement ring?

I have met women who gladly gave the ring back to their ex husbands citing its uselessness and they don’t want unnecessary reminders of a failed marriage. But as in my case, that isn’t usually how it goes down. Many times the ex wife sees the ring as chattel, like a pair of shoes or a blouse, and because it fits her finger she lays claim to it. Apparently its entire significance disappears with the judge’s final order.

The emotions around this topic can get touchy. Does the husband have any right to ask for its return? Does the person whose actions were the basis for the divorce even get a say in the matter? If he was the cheater in the relationship is it preposterous for him to dare ask? What is she was the perpetrator? Does the spouse who files for divorce forfeit any claim? Is it simply a gift?

Taking a stroll through your neighborhood jewelry store is a good indication of the price range for diamond rings. Then there are some that are simply mind blowing. It’s estimated that Jessica Simpson’s ring is valued at $150,000. Kate Middleton’s ring was $45,000 when Princess Diana wore it in 1981, and Evelyn Lozada’s ring from Chad Ochocinco is estimated at $500,000. While these are extreme cases, it’s easy to make this a money issue. But I know enough divorced men to convince me that this is far more than just being about dollars.

I’ve tried to take any financial bias or the fact that I have direct experience in this matter out of the equation. Personally I look at it this way,  the engagement and subsequent wedding bands represent a union between two people, a symbol of vows taken and promises made. It isn’t a toaster or bar set and serves as far more than simply a gift. I can think of few presents that cost as much and none which triggers a nine-month stress parade in preparation for a fifteen minute ceremony in front of a couple hundred close friends and family replete with caterers, DJ, and if your lucky an open bar. To reduce it to just a mere gift smells of convenient self-interest. Regardless of a particular guys leaning, I think I speak for all men that when an engagement ring is given to a soon-to-be bride it is with the belief that token represents our love for one another and a union soon to be shared. Does anyone view their flatware in the same light?

I find it hard to debate the merits of that argument, so if the bond being represented no longer  exists what is the rational for wanting to hold onto its symbol? That’s like getting fired from a job but keeping the business cards. I knew a woman who had burned every picture of her and her ex husband, but she adamantly refused to give up the engagement ring when he asked for it back.

And then there’s the idea about giving the ring to one of the children? Would my daughter even want the symbol of a relationship that ended? What would she do with it? Use it for her own engagement? Let’s be honest, no body likes used, we all want new and especially something that means this much. Plus I see it as bad luck to wear an engagement ring from a relationship that failed. 

So, let the lambasting begin! Sound off all who are willing. This is an all-skate regardless of your current relationship status I’d love to hear what anybody else has to say.

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66 responses to Divorce Etiquette. What about the ring?

  1. In my case, we never talked about the rings. I kept mine and he kept his (and for the record, his wedding band contained a bunch of diamonds whereas mine did not). I probably would have given them back if he wanted them, I let him keep nearly everything else.

    I can rationalize the “gift” excuse. I also kinda think that perhaps the wedding jewelry should be liquidated and the funds split equally… that’s fair, isn’t it? Both people shared the commitment that’s no longer applicable, they should equally share the value of whatever that was worth (ugh… it’s disgusting to equate love with money).

    One thing I do feel very strongly about is the case when the ring (or any part of it) came from a family member. It should be returned to the family from which it originated. I know a guy who gave his wife his dead grandmother’s diamond and then she kept it in the divorce. That’s horrible!

  2. By your argument, an engagement is only an engagement if he gives her a ring. And by that same argument, a marriage wouldn’t be a marriage if rings weren’t exchanged. I better call up my friend Kim and tell her marriage isn’t legitimate because they didn’t exchange rings. =)

    I feel that an engagement ring is a gift. It’s a gift a man gives a woman when he wants to ask her to marry him. His words and readiness for commitment mean much more than the ring. Now, I know there are a lot of shallow women out there who wouldn’t say yes to a man if he asked her to marry him and didn’t have a ring. There are also some women out there who have a size requirement and won’t accept anything less. Those women are not the norm and in my opinion shouldn’t be the basis for an opinion on the weight of what an engagement ring actually is; a gift.

    My belief is that they are material things that are not symbols of anything other than a gift given when you decided you wanted to take the next step. The same thing with wedding bands. I don’t think they make the marriage. Everything else makes the marriage. Would you have considered yourself less married had you and your ex not exchanged rings during your wedding?

    As for passing it on to your daughter…I don’t think that’s horrible or bad luck. When you gave that ring to her mom, you truly loved one another. That should be something she should know and remember.

    However, I agree with Tara that if the ring is a family heirloom, the woman should give it back. That ring holds more meaning to the man and his family and shouldn’t be kept by a woman who is not longer married to him.

  3. Lorisekera

    My ex referred to the engagement ring as a binding contract or some such thing – he would not propose on a holiday because the ring was about the getting married and if I backed out, he would get it back. Considering he broke the binding legal contract…. I keep it.

  4. Agree. Agree.

    I kept my ring because my ex-husband didn’t want it. We both decided that one day I would have it made into jewelry for our two daughters to wear.

  5. Okay – I’ve never been married or formally engaged, but I watch a lot of court shows and I have an opinion anyway. It seems that legally, the engagement ring is a “gift in contemplation of marriage”. The marriage occurred. Didn’t last but it still occurred. I don’t think you have a right to ask or expect it to be given back.
    If the engagement was broken, I was always of the opinion that it depends on who broke it. If she broke it she gives it back, if he breaks the engagement, she keeps the ring. Unless it’s a family heirloom. Then she should be decent enough to return it. Of course depending on the causes and severity of the break, decency may have left the building long before Elvis even entered. But I guess legally it’s supposed to go back to the giver since the marriage never actually occurred.

    As for giving it to one of the kids, I don’t see a problem with it. It could be seen as a symbol of something that didn’t work. But it should/could also be taken as a symbol that her parents came together, and loved each other and through that love created a child, a life, and a continuing history. Personally, if the ring was something that was family heirloom I would think would be an even bigger reason for one of the kids to have it.
    If there are no kids, then hey, there’re always consignment shops or Ebay.

    I know, I’m such a romantic.

    (Btw – great topic. This actually prompted me to use my response as a blog post. I included this post link as the original source)

  6. Lyttlethingsmttr

    It is not a “mere gift” , but it is still a gift. So just seems ethically wrong to ask for it back. I can see where you could flip that back to me saying ethically wrong to keep when the contract has been broken. BUT, would you wish your marriage undone? You both came out of it with 2 beautiful (i’m assuming here . . .) kids and (hopefully????) a handful of good memories when the bitterness fades from the bad. Can you see yourself saying to them when you are 62 . . .”I remember when your Mother and I bought our first . . . ”

    So I can see wanting to keep it . . . after the marriage has taken place yes, after a broken engagement no. lol, that honestly would depend on my bitterness level though, Sorry!

  7. If you break up before the wedding than I think you should give it back. Afterwards it is hers.

  8. Rachel

    i believe that the ring is in fact labeled by law a “gift” with the promise of marriage. In most states, if the marriage did in fact occur, the receiver of the gift is allowed to keep it. She may return it, but is not required to. By law, anyway. But each state has their own law.
    In my case, he never asked for it back. In fact, he took his wedding ring and put it in the deepest darkest drawer of my jewelry box, right next to where I had placed my engagement ring and wedding band the day the divorce papers showed up unannounced at the front door.
    So I kept them all, and just last weekend I sold them. What? Gold is at an all time high. And even though the diamond cost over 2 grand to buy (I know, cause he put it on a credit card, then never paid it off, so I got stuck paying it off) it only sold for much less than half. They didn’t mean anything to me anymore…just literally stuff collecting dust. There was NO WAY I would ever give those rings to my son. Why would I want to give him something that celebrated a marriage that ended very badly? No thanks, I’d rather not.
    So maybe others wouldn’t have done as I did. But then maybe others didn’t end up paying for it in the first place.

  9. I did the same thing with my first marriage. I kept the ring(it didnt cost much) in agreence that it would be given to our daughter.

    However if the ring had been expensive I would have never kept it.

  10. Jenny

    Hubby and I got rings that were both from his grandparents’ marriage that did not have a happily ever after. Even though their marriage didn’t end well, sometimes gifts like that say more than the giftgiver themselves could ever say. In our case, that was the beginning of the story rewrite.

    Maybe the story of your lost ring can be rewritten too?

  11. Tough one here, Papa. Like so many things in marriage, love & money get all tangled up. I read your post a couple of times through to mulch over a response. My own attitude has been pretty “anti-materialistic”, for lack of a better word. I also honestly believe that there are certain spiritual elements to physical things – whether that is karma or not, I don’t really know.

    As it relates to the ring, to me it is an expression of love and commitment, of time and place. Once that moment is gone and the commitment is over, it is best to let it go. To try to recapture the energy (or money) you put out won’t bring back what you hope for. I think it is best to let the ring go, knowing that God (or Karma, or the Universe) will reward the positive energy you put out. If “JAP” wants to keep the ring for selfish reasons, she’ll reap the consequences of that along with her other behaviors – what comes around really does go around.

    I imagine when your daughter is ready to marry, she will want to create her own legacy and with it, her own traditions.

    Good food for thought – from the comments, seems like everyone has their own take on this one.

  12. April, I’d agree with you about what marriage is and isn’t. Unfortunately I see the ring as that symbol, in fact most wedding ceremonies reference it as just that. And maybe it’s because I live in the materialistic capital of the south but the emphasis on the engagement ring, whether it be size, cut or expectations is certainly stressed here.

    I had a friend whose response to the ring was this…”by name is bugs and I want a carat”…

  13. DT…there is lots of differing opinions, we do seem to be of the same frame. I say it be sold and if possibly allow the object to represent another couple’s love and hopefully a better outcome.

  14. Good story Jenny, if Sunshine decides she wants the ring then she will have the chance to rewrite it as well.

    Thanks for the comment!

  15. Thanks Rachel, since you actually got stuck with the bill you deserve the rings no question.

    I agree I don’t want to give it to my kids either.

  16. Probably. Obviously I am biased, but it seems like the right thing to do to me. If you aren’t going to get married give it back.

  17. Thanks for the feedback and the link love! :-)

    You do make a good point about giving it to the kids, one that I will need to think more on.

  18. Lori, I agree with you, if he screwed up or ended the marriage he doesn’t get the right. If she ends the marriage she should give it back.

  19. I don’t know how I will feel about our relationship at that age. I’m hoping that by then the grief that having my kids taken from me until my visitation will have subsided.

    I wonder how the new husband feels, if he knows, that he kept the ring? Would that bother you?

  20. Man, I had to think about that. I briefly wanted the ring back, but then didn’t and I ended up letting her keep it. “Let her keep it” is probably the wrong turn, I just didn’t ask for it back, no matter what it is should be her choice of whether or not to give it back if asked. In retrospect, I think I should have asked for it back, but we were separated, not divorced. I tend to think that if cheating is involved, there is no reason to ask for it back if you are the cheater and it is perfectly acceptable to ask for it back if you are cheated on. If it’s just a split, the ring should stay. That’s my two cents.

  21. I still wonder why anyone would want it. It’s like keeping a car that was totaled. It’s a mystery to me.

  22. I can see the point of wanting it back, right down to agreeing that a child will most likely not want a ring from a relationship that failed- especially if the mother and father are the ones who couldn’t keep it together. I’ve seen many different suggestions regarding what to do with the ring, but mine is a bit different.

    As part of the divorce agreement, let her keep the ring but stipulate that it must be sold and the profit placed into an account for your child’s college fund. Make sure that both names appear on the account, or better yet, a neutral party is the one who controls access. Think of it as a sort of nest egg for college education. No one keeps the ring or has misplaced thoughts as to what should happen to it and your child/children won’t be made to feel uncomfortable yet when time comes for college to be paid for, they’ll be relieved you had such foresight!

    Just my two cents.

  23. That suggestion is worth much more than 2 cents. It’s excellent and Thanks so much for stopping in. I hope to have your feedback again.

  24. Anonymous

    The rings could definitely be a contentious issue and not black and white. At the end of the day, family heirlooms apart, they do have a monetary value and that value should be taken into consideration in the divorce settlement. If you wouldn’t use the ring as it is, why would you want it back? Wouldn’t you want a share of the value? Sorry Papa, but once the divorce is final, it’s time to quit arguing about who gets what.

    My ex and I each kept our own rings. I had my engagement ring reset and still wear it. My wedding band was lost in a move – bummer.

    My two cents on your daughter … you can have the ring reset into another piece of jewelry that is meaningful. She wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for you and your wife and just as the ring symbolized the hope you had for your marriage, it can symbolize the good that came from that. I know this is a little different, but my ex and I are getting his mother’s engagement ring and my mother’s wedding band made into a pendant as a graduation gift for our daughter. I’m hoping it’ll be a special gift for her – she’s here because of them and because of my ex and I.

  25.  I wouldn’t say I’m arguing about it, but I think the question deserves to be asked. And we can’t compare a diamond engagement ring to  $250 wedding band that most guys get stuck with. 

    I’ll never get the ring back nor will it be sold and I still don’t think my daughter will want it, but time will surely tell. 

    I believe in the symbolism which most do until it loses that. 

  26. Jmahdy

    My future ex wife wouldn’t even bother to spend $25 per year to add a rider to cover her engagement ring. Now that we are getting divorced, she won’t wear it, but won’t give it back either. I have no use for it, but I don’t want the divorce either.

  27. That’s the common and happened in mine. Have you asked her what her intention with the ring is? Kids? 

    All the best in your divorce. Hopefully something in here with give you some help or comfort. I’m about to begin a series on divorce mostly for guys, look for it soon. 

  28. Prattgirls

    This is a tricky issue. I have a wedding set that belonged to my ex husband’s paternal grandmother. There are no living relatives on that side of his family. I have 2 daughters. I have thought about giving it back to his mother, but I am not sure what to do with it. He has not asked for it back, and I would never sell it since it is a family ring.

  29. Given that it is his grandmother’s I think the proper and right thing to do is, at least, make the offer to return the set. Seeing is it is part of his family and all. Now, if he doesn’t want it back you can always save if for one of your children or make it into something else that a child of his can enjoy and retain. 

    Thanks for reading and your comment! 

  30. I’m late to this discussion, but I’m interested in the topic. I have a different situation. My ex-husband proposed to me with my (deceased) mother’s ring–a ring that my father specifically designed for her. So it is my family heirloom. So I kept it. Which makes sense. So I guess that’s not up for debate.

    The question is: Now what the hell do I do with it? It’s still meaningful to me because it was from my parents. But it’s tarnished because of my own marriage. I guess I could simply hold on to it and offer it to my son for his bride (though he’s only 16 months so that’s quite a ways off) or hope that I have a daughter in the future who can wear it…but it seems a shame to just have it sit in a jewelry box somewhere.

  31. That is an interesting predicament you have. Regardless of his history it remains a family heirloom to be passed on. That doesn’t mean it needs to be passed on in the form of an engagement ring. Since you asked I’d turn it into another piece of jewelry for yourself or, if you decide not to pass it on to your children, another family member like a sister or something. 

    Just a thought otherwise I’d let it stay in the box until the right time comes. 

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your thoughts! 

  32. I kept my engagement ring. It only cost  abput $300, but I loved it when I got it, and I still do (although I never wear it).  I made him keep our wedding bands and hope to make them into something for our boys when they’re older. 

    For me, keeping the ring was an emotional thing – one that didn’t get complicated by money. 

    If you took the money out of the equation, how would you feel about it?

    (just found your site – and spend the last couple hours perusing and enjoying.)

  33. Rebecca, first thanks for spending time with me. I appreciate your input. The money was never the point it has always been the representation of the ring and who actually it belongs to once that marriage ends. 

    Please come back by anytime. 

  34. As a lawyer, I’ll tell you that legally it’s “consideration” for the promise of marriage. If the marriage takes place, it’s hers.

    That said, my ex mother in law insisted that since the stones that my engagement ring were made out of (not diamond, for the record) came from a set of jewelry bought for her by an ex boyfriend, that it be in our prenuptual agreement that she get the ring back in the event of a divorce (anyone see the red flags here???). Because of that, I never thought that it was mine… I stopped wearing it right after our wedding and handed it back to him the week our divorce became final.

    Yeah, I probably should have known…

    As for our wedding rings, we each kept our own. I wouldn’t give it to my children. I’d rather they have stuff with happy memories. I’m planning on selling it to help finance our move to a new life… One where we can move on… That way it benefits my children…

    But everyone makes their own decisions.

  35. I just read this because this is on my mind currently. The divorce is recently final but we see each other almost every day because we are birdsnesting. The rings haven’t come up but I am waiting. My response will be that after we got married we got a joint bank account and bills came from that. I paid for what was left of the ring just as he did. We can sell it and split it or keep them for the kids. If our son wanted to use the diamond later for his own engagement (hard to imagine, he’s 12), then that would be ok. No idea if the bad ju ju from the ring would bother him. He’s pretty practical. My ex is so practical that he would have used it for me if it was from a marriage that failed because one spouse dismembered the other with a hatchet.

    Reposted your valentine post to fb under thiscuckoosnest page. I’m really enjoying your blog.

  36. Shawn

    It sucks as I am in the middle of the beginning of the end, separated for months, still hung up on her and after a 13 year relationship feel completely powerless. The funny thing about us is that our rings haven’t fit for a long time, her’s became too small for her finger and mine became too big… That is some symbolism. Anyhow I struggled to pay for that engagement ring and we had a custom wedding ring made to match it…. My ring is a celtic knot that symbolizes “eternal.” I haven’t really considered the possession of the ring, but, the symbolism looms large all the time. I wonder how she will react when it come up…

  37. i got a huge diamond, and he got a sailboat; that was the agreement. when i left, he kept everything of mine except my engagement and wedding ring. i literally left with what i was wearing, and the kids. he was the one who wanted the big wedding, which in retrospect is what you would expect. our wedding album now sits on his coffee table. (“see, i was married! i’m not gay! i’m not!”) the ring was just another prop in out big fat fake life.

    in general, i think the ring belongs to the woman, and the man keeps his ring. unless either ring was a family ring. then i think they should be returned.

    i sold my rings to provide for the kids and i after i left. the ex cut off all my access to money, even after the court ordered him to give me half of what had been in our joint accounts and pay me support. it was 5 months before i got a dime from him. and remember, since i left w/ just the kids, we all needed clothing in addition to food and a home.

  38. I didn’t really have a problem with my ex-wives keeping their engagement rings, but I was glad an agreement was reached that they each be kept for my daughters. And yes, family heirlooms should be returned and if the ring was particularly expensive then there’s no reason why its value couldn’t be considered as part of a divorce (property) settlement.

    What I do have a problem with, is my second ex-wife still wearing the ring. It’s been almost 2 years now, and she “left the marriage” as it’s put. But she’s still wearing the ring, which has “happy memories” for her. What’s more, she’s now dating other guys. I have a real problem with her still wearing my engagement ring while she’s flirting and fooling around with other men. (I’d like to think they’d have a problem with it too, but I’m a guy also, so I understand what their priorities are likely to be.)

    Am I being precious about this? Or am I not alone in feeliing it’s inappropriate?

  39. ^^ haha, “priorities”. i’m guessing the ring is BIG, and that gives her a certain status level she likes. have to ask; 2 ex wives??? have you had enough? cannot imagine another marriage.

    its funny, but until just now, i never thought to wonder what my ex did w/ his ring. humm….. it wasn’t mentioned in the division of property. i consider it his to do with as he pleases, but my rings were brought up so why weren’t his??

  40. GREG

    MAYBE THE BEST THING TO DO IS FOR BOTH PARTIES TO SUPPLY RINGS TO EACH OTHER AND THEN IF ANYTHING HAPPENS THEY BOTH EITHER EXCHANGE RINGS OR KEEP THE ONES THEY ALREADY HAVE

  41. My wife sold the riing to a pawn shop while we were still married but getting separated. She gave me the cash. But now we are getting divorced she claims that whatever was bought with that cash belongs to her since the ring belonged to her. A much bigger issue for me is that I owned a home when I got married and the proceeds from the sale of that home went into the marital home. Now my wife gets half of it and that is a much much bigger deal than any ring. The bottom line is everyone should have a pre-nuptial agreement so that no arguing is needed later.

  42. One could equally argue that its a promise of marriage “till death us do part”. If it really was consideration for the promise of marriage would not the donor have an automatic right to get it back if the marriage never took place. But that is not the case. This is all legal gobbeldy-gook. Most guys buy her a ring because it is the expected custom and the girl want to show it off to impress her friends, no more no less.

  43. Papa – Author

    My man, you seem to be getting the short end of that stick. All the best to you Dave. Thanks for participating.

  44. K

    My husband wants a divorce. They say the first year is the hardest and we barely made it past that and he wants to split. Doesn’t want to do counseling. He through his ring off awhile back and I found it and kept it. Now as the divorce is coming he wants it back. I feel I can keep it. After all when he threw it he said he didn’t want the marraige and didn’t want the ring and didn’t want to do counseling. So now I ask him why he wants it back if he didn’t want to wear it and doesn’t want this marriage. He says it was his gift. I think it’s a symbol, a gift, a commitment he no longer wants. So shouldn’t I keep it?

  45. Kyle Bradford – Author

    K, interesting turn of events. It seems that he’s the one who wants to keep the ring citing as he put it “because it’s a gift”. My philosophy applies just as for the wife as it does for the husband. Personally I think you keep it, he showed his true colors and like the proverbial toothpaste. You can’t put it back one once it’s been taken out.

  46. K

    thanks Kyle. I’m still wrestling with why he would want it. He is very impulsive. Hence him throwing the ring. The main reason he wants a divorce is because the marriage “isn’t fun anymore.” sigh.

  47. B

    While filing divorce papers, we need to disclose all financial info and personal property, we’ve both agreed that she can keep the ring, but how do you determine it’s value? is the value that which it was purchased for? or is it what she sells it for? Is there any official documentation on how this should be handled?

    Thank you

  48. Kyle Bradford – Author

    B, I would choose a jewelry appraiser of both your choosing and have them provide an appraisal of the ring. If necessary, you can have multiple appraisals done and use some form of an average.

    Note…I am not an attorney this is for informational purposes only. Advice regarding legal matters should be take up with legal counsel. Now that’s out of the way.

    I would have two appraisals done and use the average of those two values given.

  49. Jennifer

    The ring never became an issue! Didn’t even mention it in the divorce. I stop wearing my rings when we separated…so I was without it for a long time. I put it in a hiding place & kinda forgot about them. I gave ALL other jewelry he gave me away…except the wedding rings. I purposely keep them to give to my boys…one would get the engagement ring (1/2 karat heart shape diamond) & the other will get the band (1/2 karat with about 8 diamonds on band). But now that you mention it about the rings being tainted because of a failed marriage…I’m not sure that I would want to give it to them. Hmmmm…something to really think about. Maybe they should start fresh?!

  50. AshCash

    Hey I’m sorry for your divorce I’m not married but do hope to be soon however with the topic of the rings she should give it back to you and you should make it into something special for your next special lady even if that is your daughter. my parents got a divorce and neither one of them gave me anything from their marriage but anxiety it wouldve been nice to have a nice diamond as comfort. maybe your daughter would appreciate this like i would have.

    best wishes.

  51. Jenny

    When my ex decided,while married, to go on a dating website and list himself as ‘separated’ and living with his child ‘sometimes,’ he wasn’t honoring his grandmother’s intentions when she gave him her wedding ring to give to me, he was asking to get f*cked. Moral issues around ‘family heirlooms’ are complex.

  52. Kiwi

    Umm… no…

    Regardless of his obvious moral failings, it’s still his family’s heirloom – not yours.

    What if he has siblings/relatives that may want to use it instead, or a parent who wants to keep it to remember his grandmother by.

    Yes, he sounds like a jerk. But, I still think you should give it back.

  53. Kathy

    I disagree that ‘family’ heirlooms are complex. Once you’re divorced, you are no longer part of the family and the heirlooms should be returned to the ‘family’. The ‘family’ can then decide to gift them to your children if they choose, since they are ‘family’

  54. Veronica

    It seems there is an assumption of a short marriage. What if this was a thirty year marriage, and Jenny has already said that there is at least one child, so the blood lines of the two families have combined – if there are children involved, everyone is family divorce or no, and claims that little bits of property should stay or go with one party or the other are just emotional expressions which have no real meaning in the face of the reality of the blood ties.

  55. Anonymous

    My rational is simple. If the wife leaves the husband, ends the marriage or cheats she should be obligated of returning what was a symbol of love between the two. If the roles are switched the husband ends the marriage, cheats, asks for a divorce then the ring belongs to the woman and she is allowed to keep and do whatever she pleases with it.

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