Engagement Rings

May 30th, 2013 by John Schuman

“I am a female living in Ontario, Canada. In August 2012 my fiancé and I mutually ended our 2 year engagement over incompatibility, parental interference, and disagreement over future living location and children. We exchanged our property where I offered to return the ring and he declined to take it back. Nine months have past and he has now contacted a family member asking for it back or else he will sue me. Am I entitled to keep the ring?”

Answered by Toronto Family Lawyer John Schuman

“Engagement rings, and other “gifts in contemplation of marriage” are not gifts in the traditional sense. Rather, in the legal context, they are part of a contract to get married. The contract works like this: He asks you to marry him and offers you the ring as “consideration” (which is like payment under a contract) for going through with the marriage. You agree to go through with the marriage and take the ring as “consideration”.

Engagement Rings
However, if you do not go through with the ceremony, then the contract is not completed and you are no longer entitled to the ring. Further, it does not matter whose fault it was that the wedding did not take place. See section 33 of the Ontario’s Marriages Act: English E laws statutes.

For further information or assistance in regards to simple divorces in Ontario or family law, please contact family Toronto family lawyer John Schuman.

John Schuman is the head of the Family Law Group at Devry Smith Frank LLP, a full service law firm located near Eglinton and the Don Valley Parkway in Toronto. To learn more about family law issues, you can listen to some of John’s podcasts.


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