If you are engaged, but haven’t married your fiancé in Massachusetts:
- You may be able to keep your engagement ring, or
- Your fiancé may be able to get it back.
It all depends on what happened. It depends on why you did not get married.
Your fiancé may be able to get it back if your fiancé can convince a judge that
- it would be very unfair for you to keep it, and
- it is not your fiancé’s fault that you did not get married. The rule that you would have to give the ring back if it is unfair for you to keep it and not your fiancé’s fault that the marriage did not take place is in a case called De Cicco v. Barker, 339 Mass. 457, 458-9 (1959). In that case the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said that Mr. De Cicco gave the ring to Ms. Barker on condition that she marry him after his wife died. After Mr. De Cicco’s wife died, Ms. Barker refused to marry him without fault on his part. That is why the Court ordered Ms. Barker to return to ring.
But, if your fiancé did something that caused the breakup, like being abusive, the fiancé might not be able to convince a judge that
- it is unfair for you to keep the ring, and
- it was your fault that you did not get married.
If your fiancé must bring a case in court if they want the engagement ring back. It must be a separate case, not part of your restraining order case. If the ring is worth less than $7,000, the case can be filed in small claims court to get it back. Your fiancé must prove that it would be unfair for you to keep the ring because you caused the breakup.
Should you need assistance, contact the Law Offices of Renee Lazar at 978-844-4095 to schedule a FREE one hour no obligation consultation.