Do you have to return the Engagement Ring?

I came across an interesting article about a California man suing his ex-fiance for return of a $53,000 engagement ring and a 2006 Hummer. From an Orange County divorce lawyer's perspective, the kicker in this story is that the couple never married. The California man, James Makalian, is suing his ex-fiance in civil court. According to court documents, in April 2011, the woman, Nichole Grazioli, broke off the couple's engagement. When Mekalian requested the return of the engagement ring and the 2006 Hummer, Nichole Grazioli refused. According to insurance documents attached to the court filing, the ring is 14-karat and includes a 4-carat diamond and 90 "round brilliant cut diamonds" that was appraised by Warner Co. Jewelers for $52,550. An old title for the 2006 Hummer list's Javette Transportation, the company owned by Mekalian, as the owner of the vehicle in April 2009. In court documents, the value of the sport utility vehicle is listed as $25,000. Hypothetically, if the couple married and the Husband requested the return of the engagment ring upon divorce, could he get it back? Well, it depends on the facts of the case. Generally, engagement rings given to Wife is typically considered a gift. So, the short answer is no. All gifts acquired during the marriage belong to the recipient. Now, if the parties signed a contract or prenuptual agreement indicating that upon divorce, the wife has to return the engagment ring to the husband, then she should do so. At any rate, its always a smart idea to sign a California prenuptual agreement if you want your assets protected prior to any marriage. Contact an Orange County divorce lawyer for more information. Source: California Sues former fiance for $53K engagement ring

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