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Who Keeps the Engagement Ring in a Maryland Divorce?

engagement ring in a Maryland divorce.

Many people wonder who keeps the engagement ring in a Maryland divorce. In Maryland, engagement rings received before marriage are generally considered non-marital property and belong to the recipient, regardless of who ended the engagement. This means the recipient keeps the ring in the event of a divorce.
Here’s why:

  • Maryland law defines marital property as anything acquired during the marriage. Since engagement rings are typically given before the wedding, they fall outside this definition.
  • Maryland courts view engagement rings as conditional gifts, contingent on the marriage taking place. If the marriage doesn’t happen, the condition isn’t met, and the ring reverts to the recipient.
  • Tradition also dictates that the recipient keeps the ring if the engagement is broken off. This principle holds true even in Maryland’s legal framework.

However, there are exceptions:

  • If there’s a prenuptial agreement explicitly addressing the engagement ring, its terms will supersede Maryland’s default rules.
  • If the ring was purchased with funds earned during the marriage, it may be considered marital property and subject to division during divorce.
  • If the recipient uses the ring’s value to acquire other assets during the marriage, those assets may become marital property.
    Here are some tips for navigating this situation:
  • Communicate openly with your spouse: Discuss your expectations regarding the ring and try to reach a mutually agreeable solution.
  • Seek legal advice: A lawyer can clarify the legal implications and guide you through the division of property process.
  • Be mindful of the emotional significance: Consider the sentimental value the ring holds for both of you and try to find a resolution that respects everyone’s feelings.

Remember: While legal considerations matter, communication and respect for each other’s emotions are crucial when navigating the division of an engagement ring in a Maryland divorce.

If you have questions about the options for property division in your Maryland divorce or mediation, contact us today at 443-741-1147 or schedule a consultation.