As we know, the Kardashian-Humphries wedding did not end in a fairy tale, but what happened to the ring? Who gets it?
First of all, what would have happened to the ring if the marriage had never taken place? In both Minnesota and California, an engagement ring is considered to be a gift that is conditioned upon the marriage actually taking place. The idea is that the inherent symbolism of the ring shows that it is based on the promise to marry. If the marriage never takes place, courts generally have two options in deciding who gets the ring: they can look at whose fault it was that the marriage didn’t happen, or they can decide that the person who gave the ring gets it back, regardless of fault. In Minnesota, courts go with the second option—it doesn’t matter whose fault it was that you didn’t get married, the person who gave the ring gets it back. However, in California, as in many other states, courts will consider whose fault it was that the marriage didn’t take place in determining whether or not the ring should have to be returned.
But as we know they did get married, spending a wonderful 72 days of marital bliss…now who gets the ring? If the marriage happens but subsequently breaks up, as with Kim and Kris, who keeps the ring? In both Minnesota and California divorces, the engagement ring is considered the non-marital, or separate, property of the wife (or whoever received the ring, if it wasn’t the wife). That means that the ring generally belongs to the wife and will not be lumped in with other marital property to be distributed between the couple in a divorce. The one exception to this in Minnesota would be if there is enough of a wealth imbalance to result in unfair hardship to the other spouse; in that case, the value of the ring could theoretically be divided between the husband and wife. In California, there is no equivalent exception that would allow the division of separate property. So, if Kris and Kim divorce in California, it appears that the ring is hers to keep, unless of course the two of them have a prenuptial agreement covering what would happen to the ring in the event of a divorce (see previous post…).
Rosengren, Kohlmeyer & Hagen Law Office Chtd.
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