Your Wedding Ring after Divorce: Sell, Archive, Bequeath, Return or Keep?

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After a divorce, a lot of people, both men and women don’t know what to do with their wedding ring. Should they sell it and pocket the cash? Should they archive it in the attic until the oldest child is getting married and needs a family heirloom? Should they put it in a vault and bequeath it to a beloved heir? Should they return it to their spouse? Or should they keep it and continue to wear it?

This is a tough question because this is such a personal thing. I know a woman who has been divorced over a decade and she continues to wear her wedding ring and proudly too. Another woman I know has been divorced even longer – over two decades – and she continues to wear her ring. But there are others who cannot bear the sight of the ring and decide to return it to their former spouse (especially if there is great value attached to it both economic and sentimental) or sell it at the local pawn shop. There are other people perfectly content to save the ring hoping that it would one day find new life with a younger member of their family.

What you choose to do with your wedding ring is up to you. There is no law that says you have to return it; It is very different from the engagement ring which could be viewed as a conditional promise to marry and if the marriage never happens is the legal property of the person who gave it. Wedding rings do not seem to be governed by the same legal constraints. The marriage happened, the contract was fulfilled and it later ruptured. That is not held against the former spouses and so both men and women are the owners of the ring and are allowed to dispose of it however they choose. You can sell it o Ebay. You can throw it into the ocean or bury it in a park in another state. You can even take it to a jewelers and turn it into a bracelet or pendant. The sky and your imagination are the limit.

 

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