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Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger Attorneys at Law

Thinking About Proposing On Valentine’s Day?


Happy Valentine’s Day! Every year, there is a surge in engagements on February 14, due to, let’s say cupid’s arrow and an engagement is a fantastic reason to celebrate but have you ever wondered what happens in the case of a broken engagement? Are there hidden societal rules about who gets to keep the ring in the case of a called-off engagement? Do people actually go to court over engagement rings?

They sure do.

Most states have laws governing the ownership of engagement rings and most of them lean toward classifying an engagement ring as a “conditional gift.” A conditional gift is classified as a gift that is subject to or dependent on a condition. A conditional gift can be revoked if the recipient does not fulfill the conditions attached to the gift, i.e. – marriage. If the event does not occur, the person giving the gift has the legal right to get it back. So if the marriage gets called off before the official legally binding ceremony, the ring will most likely be returned to the donor.

There are some exceptions to this law and that is why proposing on Valentine’s Day can sometimes change the outcome of a court case. If a ring was gifted during a holiday such as birthdays, Valentine’s Day and Christmas it can cause the gift to be seen as being given in honor of that specific occasion.

With the average engagement ring costing $5,978, making the decision to propose to a significant other is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly and now knowing that proposing on Valentine’s Day can change the outcome of a court case, it’s best to really think this one through. Plus, if you decide to propose on a day other than Valentine’s Day, you get two days to celebrate love.

Marital and family law matters are often stressful and involve complex issues that can be financially and emotionally draining. The attorneys at Haile Shaw & Pfaffenberger understand the sensitive nature of these matters.

Give us a call today 561-627-8100.

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