What to Do with the Engagement Ring After a Divorce

By Michael DiFalco

No one expects to face the prospect of a divorce. But when you are getting a divorce, you may be unsure about what to do with your engagement ring.

There are many options available for those who no longer need their engagement ring. It is important to explore your options and choose the best approach for you.

In some cases, it may be difficult to decide which spouse gets to keep the engagement ring. For questions involving the legalities of dividing assets in New York, it is critical to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Who gets the engagement ring after a divorce?

In most instances, the party who received the ring will retain it after the divorce. However, there may be some exceptions.

Typically, in the state of New York, wedding rings are classified as a “pre-marriage” gift. This means that the ring belongs to the person to whom it was given. Following a divorce or a called-off engagement, the recipient maintains ownership of the gift.

However, suppose the engagement ring is a family heirloom. This could change the dynamic between the two parties.

Also, some spouses have their rings reset or otherwise modified. If additional valuable stones are added, it may change the categorization of the ring. It may be considered “marital” property, following updates or costly improvements.

If there is a prenuptial agreement, the classification of the ring may be determined by that document. No matter the circumstances of your divorce, make sure to have a seasoned family law professional review the facts of your case. You should not forego the assets to which you are entitled following your divorce.

Selling Your Engagement Ring

If you are the established owner of the engagement ring following the divorce, you may decide to sell it, especially if it reminds you of difficult times and interactions. This will allow you to recoup some of the cost of the ring rather than simply counting it as a loss.

Selling a ring that has little sentimental value can help to cover your court costs and other expenses. You can use the funds from the sale to begin the next exciting chapter in your life. 

Some people choose to donate the profit from their ring sale to their favorite charity or non-profit organization. This can help them turn a painful item into a beneficial one.

Repurposing Your Engagement Ring

You may love the wedding ring even though you are not attached to its prior meaning. If you feel this way, you may want to repurpose the valuable elements of the ring.

Typically, engagement rings include precious stones. Although diamonds are the most common type of engagement stone, others include:

  • Emerald
  • Aquamarine
  • Morganite
  • Alexandrite
  • Ruby 
  • Moissanite
  • Amethyst

It is becoming more common for people to repurpose precious gems from their engagement rings after a divorce. This option is especially alluring for those who did not get to select the style of their ring in the first place. 

By repurposing the materials of your ring, you can turn the precious stones into a fully new piece of jewelry. Some choose to have the materials used for necklaces. Earrings are also a popular choice. 

Speak with a Family Law Attorney

If you are unsure about the legalities surrounding your engagement ring following a divorce, do not wait. Reach out to one of the Garden City, New York, family law professionals at Aiello & DiFalco. Our caring team will help you determine the best course of legal action to protect your assets through this difficult chapter in your life. 

About the Author
I am a partner at Aiello & DiFalco LLP, and my priority for my clients is to guide them through an arduous court case to provide them with the opportunity to write the next chapter in their life. I tailor my approach to each client’s priorities and positions, and to the extent that matters can be predicted, I will always provide a realistic perspective of how the law could be applied to the particular facts and circumstances of a case. Since I thrive on helping people and solving problems, I bring an optimistic and positive approach to practicing in a very difficult area of law. With more than a decade of experience handling hundreds of cases, I have the ability to get results on the issues my clients view as priorities. When cases or certain issues cannot be settled, I have a solid record of success at trials, hearings, and on appeals. Feel free to contact me for a free initial consultation, I am always available to help.