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Who Keeps The Ring Upon Broken Engagement?

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - In advance of Valentine's Day you want to know - who keeps the ring if the engagement is broken?

Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams recently settled a lawsuit he brought against his former fiancée to get back the $785,000 diamond engagement ring he gave her when the engagement was broken off. Yes. $785,000. The rock may have been larger than the football that paid for it.

She countersued accusing him of breaking up with him. If he were, in fact, the one who broke up with HER, does that mean she gets to keep it?


Many people think that the person who gets dumped should get to keep the ring, but the law is far less sympathetic to hurt feelings. Instead, an engagement ring is considered a conditional gift - it's given on the condition that you go through with the ceremony. Once they walk down the aisle, the title to that ring is transferred to her, but if they don't walk down the aisle, she never gets ownership of it - regardless of who dropped the ball on the engagement.

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