When there is a dispute over who wants the engagement ring after a break-up, this is the only time you’ll hear formerly betrothed lovers say, “I DO”! As Valentine’s Day approaches and many couples get engaged, the gift of a big diamond may be more than just a symbol of a future marriage. It may become the subject of a future lawsuit between the donor and the recipient if the engagement is broken.
Some people believe that the man should never ask for the ring back. Some people wonder why the woman would want to keep the ring if the marriage is off. If the man cheats, the woman should get to keep the ring, right? Not under New Jersey Law.
In 1987, New Jersey Family Law attorney, Robert Adinolfi represented plaintiff Phillip Aronow in Aronow v. Silver, 223 N.J. Super, 344, 538 A.2d 851 (Ch. Div. 1987) . The plaintiff sought return of the engagement ring after the defendant canceled the engagement three times and it became clear that the marriage was not going to take place. The court allowed Aronow recovery of the ring because in New Jersey, an engagement ring is considered a “conditional gift”. The ring is given on the condition that the parties will marry. If the engagement is broken, the condition will not be met and the ring must be returned to the “giver”.
In support of his client’s position, Robert Adinolfi argued that because the New Jersey courts do not consider fault in determining who is entitled to the ring when the marriage does not take place, the strings on the engagement ring are still attached and can be yanked, regardless of who jilts who. “No fault” considerations regarding a broken engagement follow along with the “no fault” considerations in divorce proceedings. No justification is needed and either party may act.
Contact Our New Jersey Family Law Attorneys Today
Disposition of engagement rings, jointly owned real estate, shares of stock and even wedding expenses can be complicated for parties involved in broken engagements. In order to protect your interests, contact the South Jersey family law attorneys of Adinolfi & Packman located in Haddonfield, Camden County, New Jersey. We have the resources and experience to handle the most difficult family law matters and will provide you with outstanding legal representation concerning your broken engagement.