But The Engagement Ring Is a Family Heirloom!
The law in New Jersey is clear; an engagement ring given to a spouse PRIOR to the wedding is a gift in contemplation of marriage and is, therefore, NOT a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. In plain English, the engagement ring belongs to the recipient and the “giver” has no legal right to get it back nor to receive any value for it.
So, what happens when someone gives his/her spouse an engagement ring that is a family heirloom, was his/her mother’s or grandmother’s ring, or has a diamond(s) in it that came from his/her mother or grandmother or another family member? The legal answer is, again, quite clear, the ring belongs to the recipient in the event of a divorce. This is something for people to consider when deciding to give a fiancée a piece of jewelry, like and engagement ring, prior to a wedding, as a gift. If you give it, get married, then divorced, you won’t get it back! One option to consider is to include a provision in a pre-marital agreement relating to the engagement ring.
If you are considering giving the love of your life a family heirloom as an engagement ring, be sure to understand the ramifications in the event of divorce. For more information on this important topic contact us with this form or call us at 856-424-3444.