Are engagement rings and jewelry marital assets?

Full Question:

Are engagement rings and jewelry marital assets?
05/02/2017   |   Category: Divorce   |   State: Michigan   |   #36511

Answer:

In most situations the wedding ring is a gift and separate property. Jewelry can go either way depending on the facts surrounding the jewelry such as who paid for it.

An Oregon case that discusses the issue is Mallorie and Mallorie, 113 P.3d 924, 200 Or. App. 204 (Or. App., 2005). You can find it online. It finds a wedding ring is separate property.

A related question is engagement rings which must be returned if the wedding does not take place. An engangement ring is considered a conditional gift conditioned on marriage. Meyer v. Mitnick, 244 Mich.App. 697, 625 N.W.2d 136 (2001)

Some Court Opinions from various States are listed below regarding wedding rings and whether they are marital property or separate property. 

1.       886 N.W.2d 616 (Iowa App. 2016), 15-1139, In re Marriage of Kerkhoff


Court of Appeals of Iowa          886 N.W.2d 616          August 31, 2016          0


...assets, and improperly included the value of her wedding ring as a part of the marital estate. Finally...
...2d at 678. " In dissolution-of-marriage cases, marital property is to be divided equitably, considering the factors




2.       Michael V. v. Eva S., 082216 NYMISC, 2016-51237


Supreme Court, Kings County                     August 22, 2016          0


...unknown value; and jewelry including an engagement ring, wedding ring, diamond necklace and earrings with unknown value. Temporary...
...or training expenses; (e) the wasteful dissipation of marital property; (f) the transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation




3.       In re Marriage of McSorley, 080416 CAAPP2, B265174


California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division                     August 4, 2016          0


...separate property, and Lourdes’s 1.21-carat wedding ring and a $10, 000 wedding gift from
Robert...
...offered evidence that Robert continued to wear his wedding ring, referred to her as his wife, and gave




4.       195 So.3d 895 (Miss.App. 2016), 2015-CA-00110-COA, Knight v. Knight


Court of Appeals of Mississippi          195 So.3d 895          July 19, 2016          0


...mortgage on the marital home, pawning Monica's wedding ring, encumbering assets with additional debt without Monica's...
...with such property--acquired during the marriage was marital property. A. Debt [¶16] Monte argues that the chancellor 
Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fifth District                     May 12, 2016          0


...insurance proceeds to cover the loss of her wedding ring. For the following reasons, we affirm the order...
...technician, and various household accoutrements. April was awarded marital property in the form of the Acura automobile, all




6.       Meshell v. Lippi, 051216 TXCA2, 02-15-00212-CV


Court of Appeals of Texas, Second District, Fort Worth                     May 12, 2016          0


...2010. Meshell testified that he gave Lippi a wedding ring that she wore. Lippi testified that although he...
...broke up, he did not give her a wedding ring. In 2009, Lippi and Meshell filled out applications


9.       493 S.W.3d 156 (Tex.App.-Dallas 2016), 05-14-01463-CV, Assoun v. Gustafson


Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas          493 S.W.3d 156          May 3, 2016          0 
laws...
...with Anais wearing what appears to be a wedding ring. (5) Appellees allow media to publish pictures of




10.       Longstreth v. Longstreth, 042016 TNCIV, M2014-02474-COA-R3-CV


Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville                     April 20, 2016          0


...additional money. Instead, the court awarded Wife the wedding ring she had given Husband because the diamond and...
...trial court did not equitably divide the parties' marital property, that she should have been awarded additional attorney




11.       485 S.W.3d 827 (Mo.App. S.D. 2016), SD33837, In re Marriage of Farris


Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division          485 S.W.3d 827          April 18,
2016           0     
...motions, which alleged that Wife had contumaciously dissipated marital property during the pendency of the case, were to...
...When Husband asked Wife if certain items of marital property were in her possession, despite her previous indication




12.       785 S.E.2d 392 (S.C.App. 2016), 5400, Fredrickson v. Schulze


Court of Appeals of South Carolina          785 S.E.2d 392, 416 S.C. 141          April 13, 2016


...for the family court to consider in apportioning marital property and affords the family court the discretion to...
...between the parties; (3) the value of the marital property, whether the property be within or without the




13.       480 S.W.3d 119 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 2015), 14-14-00640-CV, Tran v. Nguyen


Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourth District, San Antonio          480 S.W.3d 119          November 24,
2015           0     
...trial, Nguyen was in possession of Tran's wedding ring, but she said that he could have it...
...discretion in determining the value and division of marital property. Aduli, 368 S.W.3d at 819. 




14.       Tran v. Nguyen, 112415 TXCA14, 14-14-00640-CV


Court of Appeals of Texas, Fourteenth District                     November 24, 2015          0


...trial, Nguyen was in possession of Tran's wedding ring, but she said that he could have it...
...discretion in determining the value and division of marital property. Aduli, 368 S.W.3d at 819. We




15.       Trude v. Trude, 103015 KYCA, 2013-CA-002153-MR


Court of Appeals of Kentucky                     October 30, 2015          0


...property or the debt. Bill was awarded a wedding ring, and the trial court terminated Tammy's monthly...
...court abused its discretion in awarding Bill the wedding ring and in denying her request for attorney fees




16.       354 P.3d 393 (Ariz. 2015), CR-12-0535-AP, State v. Leteve


Supreme Court of Arizona          354 P.3d 393, 237 Ariz. 516          August 12, 2015          0


...home, and Leteve said no. Noting Leteve's wedding ring, the officer asked, " Where is your wife?" Leteve...
...Because Laurie would have received her share of marital property even if the murders had not occurred, any




17.       38 N.E.3d 226 (Ind.App. 2015), 25A05-1407-DR-344, White v. White


Court of Appeals of Indiana          38 N.E.3d 226          July 20, 2015          0


...rings -- That [Wife] shall provide [Husband] with his wedding ring and class ring if the same are in...
...Ind.Ct.App. 2006). [¶8] " The division of marital property in Indiana is a two-step process. The 


Court of Appeals of Indiana          38 N.E.3d 224          July 14, 2015          0


...provisional order barring either party from disposing of marital property without court permission. The entry further stated that...
...been considered marital assets. [¶27] In Indiana, all marital property goes into the marital pot for division, whether




19.       Puchalsky v. Puchalsky, 062215 NJSUP, A-0413-13T3


Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division                     June 22, 2015          0


...on a diamond ring; $8000 for Dawn's wedding ring; $39, 000 for the five-carat diamond ring...
...dental practice. B. Equitable distribution of the other marital property. POINT IV: THE COURT BELOW ERRED IN ITS




20.       771 S.E.2d 602 (N.C.App. 2015), COA14-731, Comstock v. Comstock


Court of Appeals of North Carolina          771 S.E.2d 602          April 7, 2015          2


...and in defendant's sole name, plaintiff's wedding ring stipulated as marital property, a USAA
whole life insurance policy owned by

21.       In re Marriage of Scardino, 030615 ILCA2, 2-14-0520


Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District                     March 6, 2015          0


...aunt's high school ring, his grandmother's wedding ring, his son's 14K gold watch, two white...
...found that the parties' Burr Ridge home was marital property. There was a first mortgage of
$400, 000




22.       In re Marriage of Scardino, 030615 ILCA2, 2-14-0520


Court of Appeals of Illinois, Second District                     March 6, 2015          0


...aunt's high school ring, his grandmother's wedding ring, his son's 14K gold watch, two white...
...found that the parties' Burr Ridge home was marital property. There was a first mortgage of
$400, 000




23.       768 S.E.2d 63 (N.C.App. 2014), COA14-673, Taylor v. Taylor


Court of Appeals of North Carolina          768 S.E.2d 63          December 16, 2014          0


...among other things, " [h]is jewelry including his wedding ring" ; " [a]ll property owned by him prior to...
...and was not able to retrieve from the marital property, including, but not limited to, the 1952
Chevrolet




24.       Ellis v. Ellis, 112514 TNCIV, E2013-02408-COA-R9-CV


Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville                     November 25, 2014          0


...Place Mall. There, he presented her with a wedding ring and, for the first time, a prenuptial agreement...
...are acquired during the marriage, shall be considered marital property and treated as such. 3. Acquisitions, Income and




25.       In re Marriage of Logsdon, 110414 ILCA4, 4-14-0207


Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District                     November 4, 2014          0 
...Union: (1) $3, 008 to purchase Amanda's wedding ring and (2) $9, 511 to purchase a car...
...the joint loan used to purchase Amanda's wedding ring ($1, 724). In May 2009-following the financial




26.       In re Marriage of Dutcher, 102814 CAAPP5, F066981


California Court of Appeals, Fifth District                     October 28, 2014          0


...arose whether Robert failed to return Hannah’s wedding ring to her, which was valued at $17,
000...
...of the community. Upon division of all the marital property, an equalization payment of $23,
918 from Robert




27.       108 A.3d 114 (Pa.Super. 2014), 1249 WDA 2013, Ryan v. Ryan


Superior Court of Pennsylvania          108 A.3d 114          October 14, 2014          0


...including counts for alimony and equitable distribution of marital property. Wife filed an answer. Amber N. Shipley, Esq...
...DISCRETION IN NOT SETTING FORTH HUSBAND'S NON-MARITAL PROPERTY ON EXHIBIT 12 AND MAKING PROVISION FOR HIM




28.       856 N.W.2d 3 (Iowa App. 2014), 13-1419, In re Marriage of Sinclair


Court of Appeals of Iowa          856 N.W.2d 3          August 27, 2014          2


...69,850 for Sinclair. The parties value the marital property as follows: ItemSinclair's calculationMorr's...
...including some of his tools and Morr's wedding ring set. SeeKimbro, 826 N.W.2d at




29.       People v. Cruz, 062514 NYMISC, 2014-24175


Criminal Court of the City of New York, Queens County                     June 25, 2014          0


...she states that the defendant also took her wedding ring, handed down to her by her mother, and... 
...to tell her that he had given her wedding ring to a homeless person. Unlawful Imprisonment in the




30.       44 Misc.3d 640, 2014-24175, People v. Cruz


Criminal Court of City of New York, Queens          44 Misc.3d 640, 989 N.Y.S.2d 279          June 25,
2014           5     
...to tell her that he had given her wedding ring to a homeless person. Unlawful Imprisonment in the...
...the event of a divorce action, be considered marital property jointly owned by the complainant and defendant, such




31.       759 S.E.2d 712 (N.C.App. 2014), COA13-1153, Hunt v. Hunt


Court of Appeals of North Carolina          759 S.E.2d 712          May 6, 2014          6


...from an order entered 6 May 2013 distributing marital property, ordering him to pay alimony to his former...
...the trial court erred in valuing plaintiff's wedding ring and in ordering an unequal distribution of marital




32.       In re Marriage of Cramm, 110613 ILCA4, 4-13-0112


Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District                     November 6, 2013          0


...month for 3 years, and (2) divided the marital property, awarding 60% to petitioner and 40% to respondent...
...2) awarding petitioner a 60% share of the marital property. We affirm. ¶ 3 I. BACKGROUND ¶
4 In March




33.       Nurre v. Nurre, 101813 KYCA, 2010-CA-002151-MR


Court of Appeals of Kentucky                     October 18, 2013          0


...engagement ring at $6, 980.00 and the wedding ring at $1, 165.00. After tendering the appraisal...
...payment[11] to have been Stephen's non-marital property. Specifically, she argues the court 




34.       56 Cal.4th 1113, S193493, Ceja v. Rudolph & Sletten, Inc.


Supreme Court of California          56 Cal.4th 1113, 302 P.3d 211, 158 Cal.Rptr.3d 21          June 20,
2013           26     
...exchanged marriage vows. The decedent also gave a wedding ring to the plaintiff. The two then returned to...
...Former section 4452 addressed the distribution of quasi-marital property upon death or dissolution and defined putative spouses




35.       Golden v. Golden, 032213 OHCA5, 2012CA00122


Court of Appeals of Ohio, Fifth District, Stark                     March 22, 2013          0


...TO THE DEFENDANT-APPELLEE FOR HER ALLEGEDLY LOST WEDDING RING AS THE EVIDENCE WAS INSUFFICIENT AS TO THE LOCATION OF THE WEDDING RING AND NO EVIDENCE AS TO THE PRESENT VALUE




36.       Williams v. Williams, 122612 OHCA3, 13-12-17


Court of Appeals of Ohio, Third District, Seneca                     December 26, 2012          0


...A RESULT OF THE THEFT OF APPELLANT'S WEDDING RING. ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR 6
THE TRIAL COURT FAILED...
...the trial court must determine what assets constitute marital property subject to division. R.C.
3105.171(B




37.       In re Marriage of Reeder-Ward, 111412 ILCA4, 4-11-1149


Court of Appeals of Illinois, Fourth District                     November 14, 2012          0


...Kimberly her nonmarital property in Carmi, Illinois, the marital property located in Denninson, Illinois, her 2009 Jeep, and...
...to a lawsuit involving a parcel of the marital property. As part of the judgment in that case 


Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville                     September 10, 2012


...Husband's debt out of her share of marital property. Our review is de novo upon the record...
...dryer, stainless steel refrigerator/freezer, and, a historic wedding ring–belonged, in fact, to
Husband's sister, and




39.       368 S.W.3d 363 (Mo.App. W.D. 2012), WD 74148, Jenkins v. Jenkins


Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District          368 S.W.3d 363          June 19, 2012          11


...in identifying Ms. Jenkins's wedding rings as marital property. We remand to the trial court to award...
...Jenkins as nonmarital property and to adjust the marital property division as the trial court finds is reasonable




40.       968 N.E.2d 115 (Ill.App. 2 Dist. 2012), 2-09-1339, In re Marriage of Romano


Court of Appeal of Illinois, Second District          968 N.E.2d 115, 360 Ill.Dec. 36, 2012 IL App (2d)
091339          March 21, 2012          16


...the Romano companies was [ sic ] [Daniel's] non-marital property, and that the transfers of the proceeds from...
...Gift Trust and the MP Trust were neither marital property nor Daniel's nonmarital property. However, the court