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Do I Have to Give My Wedding Ring Back in a Divorce?

 Posted on June 11, 2024 in Property Division

IL divorce lawyerA wedding ring is a symbol of marriage and is given from one person to another with the expectation that they will marry. A common question, therefore, is whether a spouse must give his or her wedding ring back to the other spouse when the marriage ends. This is an especially common question with wedding rings that cost thousands of dollars.

If you get divorced, your spouse may demand the wedding ring back. He or she may even claim that it is marital property and must be divided between the both of you. This article will discuss whether a wedding ring is marital property and must be returned in a divorce. It is always best to direct any questions regarding divorce to a qualified Illinois divorce attorney.

What Is Marital Property?

Illinois law defines marital property as anything acquired by either spouse during the marriage. If one party obtained ownership of something after the marriage began, it is considered marital property and belongs to both spouses. Assets like cars and houses, therefore, are often divided in a divorce.

There are, however, exceptions to this rule. The following are not considered marital property:

  • Inheritance
  • Property acquired by using non-marital property as collateral
  • Gifts intended for one spouse exclusively

Is a Wedding Ring Considered Marital Property?

A wedding ring is given from one spouse to another as a gift on the wedding day. Therefore, it is usually considered a gift that is intended for one spouse exclusively and not marital property that must be divided in a divorce.

Some might argue that a wedding ring is conditional upon marriage, and once that condition is removed —  i.e., in a divorce — the wedding ring should be returned. However, many legal opinions take a slightly different approach. They say that it is true that a wedding ring is conditional upon marriage, but that condition is considered fulfilled once the marriage takes effect.

What About a Family Heirloom?

In some cases, a judge might rule that a wedding ring should be returned. If the wedding ring you received belonged to your spouse’s grandmother, for example, then it might be considered an inheritance. An inheritance is not subject to division in a divorce, which means it would be regarded as your spouse’s personal property.

Contact a Wheaton, IL Divorce Attorney

It is not always clear whether a wedding ring or engagement ring is considered marital property. The best way to find out whether you will need to return your wedding ring is to ask a DuPage County, IL divorce lawyer. At Davi Law Group, we have many years of experience handling marital property division. We excel at guiding our clients smoothly through the rocky divorce process and we will do the same for you. Call 630-657-5052 for a free consultation today.

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