In Florida the law is pretty clear that one who gives an engagement ring (e.g. man) is entitled to recover it, if:
A. The engagement is unjustifiably broken off by the person accepting it (e.g. woman) or
B. Cancelled by mutual consent of the parties.
The premise of this principle is that acceptance of the ring is contingent on the woman marrying the man.
Hence, as usual simple principles can get complicated, when “what if”….
Then, what if the donor, “Jacinto”, proposes to his long-time girlfriend “Ramona”, but the proposal and acceptance of the Beautiful 5 karats ring is during a holiday, “Christmas, Valentine’s day”?
Again, as usual, this may give rise to an exception where Ramona might be able to keep the ring if she proves that Jacinto called off the wedding or that the ring was a Christmas Gift and not necessarily premised on the condition of her marrying Jacinto.
To summarize, it can be said that in a lawsuit in Florida to recover an engagement ring it DOES matter who calls off the engagement. The purchase of an engagement ring in contemplation of marriage represents a major investment.
In Florida, upon a broken engagement or failed marriage, the tendency of the courts has long been to apply contractual principles. The courts view the giving of an engagement ring as a conditional act. If the marriage is fulfilled, the condition is met, and the ring is the property of the person who accepted it (donee spouse).
For more information, consult an experienced Family law attorney in Florida.
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