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Divorce, Marital Property and Your Wedding Ring

Perhaps you and your spouse are considering filing for a divorce. If you are a woman, one of the concerns on your mind may be whether or not you are required to return your wedding or engagement ring back to your husband. For women, a ring holds much sentimental value, and monetary value as well. First off, there is a legal obligation by the court to rule that a ring is considered to be marital property, and as a gift they are most likely to give it to the recipient rather than back to the giver; whether or not it was an heirloom or extremely expensive.

The engagement ring is going to be addressed a little differently in the event of the relationship ending. Essentially, the court holds that certain conditions must be met in order for the recipient to be entitled to the engagement ring as property, and that means consummation of the marriage. If the couple breaks up before they consummate their marriage, then the giver of the gift may still be able to get back the ring. However, once the marriage is official then it is considered to be marital property and therefore a gift given to the wife.

In many cases, either with equitable distribution or community property states, the court will rule that the spouse with the larger earning capacity will be the one giving a greater settlement to the spouse earning less; if this is the husband part of this property will likely be the wedding and engagement rings, as it is. In the case of an heirloom, it is usually up to the wife to determine whether or not she wants to give it back to the family; this is a matter of choice rather than law.

In the event you are filing for a divorce, contact Hopper, Hopper & Mulligan, PLLC today for the highly skilled Raleigh divorce lawyer you deserve on your side!

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Learning to laugh again....
After almost 3 years fighting with my ex-wife over everything, I was recently awarded primary custody of my children, child support, and allowed to leave the state, something that I understand is not so common in North Carolina --fathers being awarded custody that is. Thanks to Kevin Hopper, the kids and I are finally moving past the nightmare and learning to laugh again.
- Newton
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