How to make sure you keep the engagement ring after a divorce

Divorce & the engagement ring:

In most instances, the court will probably award the engagement ring to the wife after a marriage on the theory that it is “separate property”. (http://www.divorcesaloon.com/index.php?s=engagement+ring) Well, at first, it was a “conditional gift” when you received it and prior to marriage. After marriage there is a bit of a split. My interpretation of the case law is that in some cases, after you get married, the ring becomes “marital property” that is subject to equitable distribution. But in some cases it is treated as “separate property” and belongs to the woman after a divorce.

What is it really? Look, the law is just murky on this issue. The case law I’ve looked at, as I said, is contradictory. Especially if the engagement ring is very expensive.  The more expensive the ring, the more likely it will be viewed as a “conditional gift” that became “marital property” after the marriage; and thus, it will be subject to “equitable distribution.”

But you can avoid this confusion. When he first gives you the ring, don’t call it an engagement ring. Just call it a friendship ring or just a regular old gift/present from a lover to a lover, pre-marriage. ANYTHING YOU GET PRIOR TO MARRIAGE IS NOT MARITAL PROPERTY. So, as long as this is given before you marry, and it is not an “engagement ring” it is not a “conditional gift” and so after marriage, it does not become “marital property” no matter how much it costs. It remains your “separate property.” And after a divorce, you keep it.

http://www.divorcesaloon.com/index.php?s=separate+property

Smart, eh? The trouble is it, how do you pull this off without alerting him that you are doing your divorce calculus before the marriage even takes place?

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