Family Law

Do You Have to Give Back the Engagement Ring?

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Who gets to keep the engagement ring?


That seems a trivial question, but it appears that many people ask that if they feel that they were taken advantage of when the spouse giving the ring backed out of the commitment.

According to the law in some jurisdictions, the ring is a conditional gift presented in contemplation of marriage.  That if the condition is not met, that if the condition isn’t met, that the person giving the ring is entitled to it.

That brings up many questions about whether someone should return an engagement ring if it was the person giving the ring that did something to break the engagement and therefore the marriage.  In some states the law says that gifts used to induce a person to accept the offer of marriage is not recoverable.  They just can’t ask for it back. However, if the ring was accepted by someone who just used it to mislead another into giving her or him the ring, then it the ring can be recovered.

In many states the court looks at who it was that broke the agreement to get married.  If it was the person giving the ring, the court will say that the ring does not have to be returned, and if the person breaking the agreement to get married broke the agreement, then that person should give the ring back.

However, in a modern approach, other courts have held that the general rule that the ring should be returned applies regardless of fault.  In modern times, it is not uncommon for both parties to contribute financially to the purchase of an engagement ring. In that case, the Court may determine that the value each one put in goes back to that person.

What if the ring is “lost”?  The Courts may determine that the person who lost the ring should give the person who gave it the value of that ring.

An increasing number of jurisdictions have adopted statutes abolishing actions for a breach of contract to marry. The states are split however on whether these statutes prohibit actions seeking the restitution of gifts given in connection with the engagement to marry; most courts allow the recovery of engagement gifts, but not all.

What most courts have agreed on however is that you cannot recover a ring that was given in contemplation of divorce.

Wanna know more about your rights to the ring and other marital or premarital property?  Give us a call, the consultation is FREE.  The Miami Law Firm 786-454-2411,

Estates if one spouse isnt a US citizen.

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Estate if one spouse is a non-citizen.

An unlimited marital deduction is generally available for transfers of property to a spouse if that spouse is a US citizen. That means that spouses who are US citizens can transfer property to each other either during life or at death without any estate or gift tax liability. However, that same unlimited marital deduction isn’t available for transfers of property to a non-citizen spouse.

If one spouse is a US citizen and the other spouse is not, it’s important to take into account special rules that apply to transfers to and from a non-citizen spouses to avoid the estate and gift tax or the inadvertent use of the US citizen spouse’s estate and gift tax lifetime exclusion amount.

The US transfer tax rules applicable to gifts made during life and at death depend on whether the transferor and transferee are:
• US citizens.
• US resident non-citizens (resident aliens).
• Non-residents and non-citizens of the US.
Keep in mind that there is a difference between a non-citizen’s residence for transfer tax purposes and the determination of residence for income tax purposes.
Residence for Income Tax Purposes

Residence is determined for income tax purposes as follows:

• Permanent residence as a green card holder.
• Chooses to be treated as a permanent resident.
• Has a substantial presence in the US in a given year.
Residence for Transfer Tax Purposes

For the transfer tax, residence means domicile. A person acquires domicile in a place by living there, for even a brief period of time, with the intent to stay, or not leave. There is big difference between the application of the transfer tax rules depending on each spouse’s citizenship and residency status, and whether the transferor spouse makes a transfer during life or at death.

Get informed by calling The Miami Law Firm today at 897.454.2411.