Things don’t always go as planned. You gave an engagement ring to your fiancé and expected to spend the rest of your life with this person. Later down the road, you both realized it may be the best that you two parted your ways. Now a tricky question arises: who keeps the ring?
The law is not very clear on this. Section 33 of the Marriage Act provides that if the marriage fails to take place or is abandoned, the question of who caused failure or abandonment shall not be considered in determining the right of the donor to recover the gift. However, it is still not clear who will receive the engagement ring. Courts across Canada seem to be divided on whether the engagement ring is a gift or a symbolic contract to get married.
But What Can You Do?
Even though it is not the most comfortable topic for couples, the couples may want to consider making it clear who keeps the ring in the event of a breakup. Absent any agreement in advance, it is strongly recommended that the person who gave the engagement ring to claim the ownership immediately after the relationship breakdown. As more time elapses, the ring may more likely be deemed as a gift by the court.
Whether to fight for the ring is a fact-specific decision that the ring claimant wants to make. Unless the ring is valuable or of sentimental significance, the cost of going to the court may well exceed the value of the ring.
MEHDI AU LLP has Family lawyers in Markham who can help you with of your family law matters.
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