Engagement rings cost a hefty amount of money and can often be an item of dispute during a divorce. After a divorce the engagement ring most likely has a negative association and the wearer probably doesn't continue to wear it, but who gets to keep the ring? In many cases the ring is even sold - so who gets to keep the proceeds?
The answers to these questions may vary depending on which state you file for divorce in, but the courts in the state of California consider an engagement ring to be a separate property gift. Therefore, in a divorce the wearer of the ring gets to keep it, and if it's sold, keep the proceeds.
An exception to this may be if the ring given is a family heirloom, in which case the ring would need to be valued and the party who desires to keep the ring would need to reimburse the other party for the value of the ring and/or provide a ring of equal value.
Another exception may be if the parties purchased the ring together, instead of one party gifting it to the other. In this case, the ring may have been paid for with community funds and may be considered community property.
If there is any concern over the ownership of an engagement ring during a divorce, a qualified family law attorney should be consulted as soon as possible. At Richard Ross Associates we can help our clients to protect their separate property interests.