It can be hard and time-consuming for spouses to figure out how to settle a divorce. Here’s who keeps the wedding ring a divorce in Texas.
Settling property and possession issues in a divorce is a difficult task. Managing marital property and gifts may be challenging and stressful. Here’s everything you need to know about keeping the ring in a Texas divorce.
Related: Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce
Is Texas a community property state?
Texas is a community property state, which means most property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses, and the court must divide it in divorce. In contrast, each spouse gets to keep his or her separate property when the marriage ends.
What is a conditional gift?
A conditional gift is one that depends on a condition. The giver can revoke a conditional gift if the recipient does not fulfill the conditions attached to the gift. A gift is a conditional gift and it is not final until some future event occurs.
In Texas, a wedding ring is considered a conditional gift.
What Is Considered An Irrevocable Gift?
An engagement ring is a gift and the law requires three elements to constitute an irrevocable gift:
- Intent – The giver’s intent to give the item as a gift;
- Delivery – The giver’s actual giving of the gift to the receiver; and
- Acceptance – Affirmative acceptance of the gift by the receiver.
Usually, if the above three elements are met, the state considers a gift irrevocable and the gift-giver is not entitled to reclaim the item.
In a Texas divorce, the wedding ring is considered the recipient’s separate property, meaning the divorce proceedings are not likely to obligate him or her to return the ring – except in specific situations. The wedding ring and/or engagement ring is conditional only on the recipient’s acceptance of engagement – and not on the wedding itself. Many other states view things differently and consider the engagement and/or wedding ring as being conditional on the recipient’s promise of marriage, and the ring, therefore, does not become the property of the recipient until the marriage takes place.
Engagement Rings That Do Not Lead To Marriage
If a couple does not go through with the marriage, Texas law does not necessarily require to return the ring to its purchaser – the proposer. Instead, there are two different scenarios to guide the determination of to whom the ring belongs.
If the wedding is called off by the proposer, case law indicates that the proposer – who also purchased the engagement ring – is not entitled to having the ring returned to him or her. If, on the other hand, the wedding is called off by the ring’s recipient, they will likely need to return the ring to the proposer.
If the ring in question is a family heirloom, things are a bit different. If the couple does not go through with the marriage or if they divorce and the ring is a family heirloom, it will likely be returned to the spouse for whom it is an heirloom. If the spouses had children within the marriage, however, the heirloom ring will likely be held for one of the children.
Debt And Rings
If there is debt associated with purchasing the ring, that debt – upon divorce – will follow whomever originally incurred the debt.
Unless one of the exceptions discussed above applies, a wedding ring typically remains the property of the person who accepted the proposal and the ring.
Related: Texas Divorce FAQs