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How Are Wedding and Engagement Rings Handled in an Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on February 04,2020 in Division of Property

DuPage County asset and property division attorney

Engagement rings are common in today’s society for couples who plan to get married, but they have not always been. The first engagement ring was given in the 1400s, but they did not become popular in the United States until the 1940s when the De Beers Company launched the famous “Diamonds are forever,” campaign. Now, many couples see purchasing an engagement ring as an investment, with the average cost of an engagement ring in the United States being somewhere around $6,324, according to Business Insider. In the state of Illinois, the average cost of an engagement ring is a little higher at $7,110. Along with the wedding band, these can be highly sought items when the property is divided in an Illinois divorce.

Marital and Non-Marital Property

When it comes to property division, Illinois recognizes that there is a difference between marital and non-marital property. Only marital property is subject to division in a divorce. According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA), all property that is acquired by each spouse during the marriage is considered to be marital property. However, there are exceptions to that rule. For example, property that is obtained by either spouse through “gift, legacy, or descent” or property acquired in exchange for such property is considered to be non-marital property and therefore not subject to division.

So, Who Gets the Ring?

Most of the time, engagement rings are purchased prior to the marriage and gifted to the spouse as a promise of marriage. Once you are married, that promise is fulfilled, and the ring becomes the property of the person who received it. Because of this rule, the diamond engagement ring is usually considered non-marital property, and the spouse who wears it is entitled to keep the ring after the divorce.

The spouse who gave the ring does not usually have any rights to ownership of the ring, unless he or she can prove that he or she did not actually intend on giving the ring as a gift. This can be difficult to do, especially since an engagement ring is, by its nature, considered to be a gift. Wedding rings or bands are also usually classified as non-marital property, since they are exchanged on the wedding day as gifts. Therefore, the spouses may keep their own wedding rings after the divorce. In some cases, they may decide they want to give them to a family member, such as a son or a daughter.  

Contact a Geneva Property Division Attorney

In the state of Illinois, the spouse who wears the engagement ring is typically the person who has ownership rights to the ring. If you are unsure of whether or not you are legally entitled to keep your engagement or wedding ring after your divorce, you should speak to a skilled Kane County divorce lawyer. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can advise you of your rights to any marital and non-marital property. We have handled many types of divorce cases, including complex and contested situations. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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