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Going to the Chapel and We’re Gonna Get Married…or Maybe Not

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Beyonce’s lyrics in her famous song, “Single Ladies” states, “if you like it then you should have put a ring on it.”  But what if you did put a ring on it and later changed your mind…

Those of you who are fans of NBC’s The Bachelor were probably shocked (or maybe not so shocked) to hear that the latest Bachelor, Jake Pavelka put a ring on his final rose pick, Vienna Girardi.  Three months into the couples’ engagement, Pavelka wished he never “put a ring on it” and ended the relationship.  Now that the Bachelor and his fiancée have split, many will question who gets the $50,000 2.72-carat diamond and platinum ring. 

In New York, if an engaged couple breaks up before getting married, the traditional principle of New York law holds that the engagement ring is the property of the male donor when an engagement later is terminated. As the New York Court in Maiorana v. Rojas notes, “gifts given in the contemplation of marriage are deemed to be conditional on the subsequent marriage of the parties.”

However, courts have also held that if there were reasons other than a contemplated marriage why the gift was given, such as part of a birthday or holiday celebration, the ring may not be subject to return.

If you are engaged and looking to create a Prenuptial Agreement or want to call off your engagement, Long Island Attorney Jay D. Raxenberg can help!  Click here to contact the Law Offices of Jay D. Raxenberg, P.C. to schedule a complementary consultation.

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