In Tennessee If She Doesn’t Marry You She Has To Give The Ring Back

Okay, well that settles that. In Tennessee at least. The Tennessee Court Of Appeals has sided with the one who spent the money on the ring in the first place, which is usually the guy. From The Tennessean:

In a ruling that appears to be the first appellate decision of its kind in the state, the court said that if the wedding is canceled, the person who gave the engagement ring is entitled to get it back.
“In summary, we hold that an engagement ring is given in contemplation of marriage, and as such, is impliedly a conditional gift,” the unanimous opinion, written by Judge Charles D. Susano, said.
If the marriage doesn’t take place, “the engagement ring goes back to the one who gave it.”

Apparently some unhappy couple had decided that the whole “till death do us part” thing just wouldn’t work in their case and they broke up. When they did he asked for the ring back. She said… Mine. Actually I imagine that the discussion was a bit more colorful than that but, anyway, he didn’t get the ring. So he did things the all American way.
He sued her for the ring. And lost in county court on the basis that the ring had been a gift. So sayeth the judge. The man apparently has more money than sense because he then appealed the decision. I don’t know what the value of the ring was but it must have been a whopper to justify spending the kind of money you’d spend on an appeal. Proving a point is one thing but if it was going to cost me as much as I suspect that it cost this guy – not just in money either, in time, effort, and aggravation – I would have had to say, take it. Have a nice day. Now, go away.
Anyway, I’ve heard this subject brought up from time to time. If you give her a ring and you don’t get married, who owns the ring? Well, in Tennessee the giver do. My opinion?
I disagree with the Court of Appeals. I think if you gave her a ring, you gave her a ring. It’s not yours any more. And if for some reason “I do” turns into “no way in hell” then just let her keep the damn thing. It’s her’s. And I just don’t think it would be worth the fight to get it back.
I wonder what that guy will do with that ring now? Kind of useless, ain’t it?

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