Who Gets the Wedding Ring(s)?

People fight about two things in divorce: money and kids. On the money side, people will fight about some interesting things. Once, I had to divided cows. I've even divided a lawn gnome collection. No fight, however, is as silly as a fight over wedding rings.

Now, there are times when it's advantageous to recite statutes and case law when addressing a divorce asset division issue. This is not one of those times.  Wedding rings (which are obviously assets) are a matter of common sense. So, while I could tell you about the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court cases in which people have fought about forcing the other person to return a wedding ring (and those cases are out there), I won't.

Here's the simple rule when it comes to wedding rings in divorce: everyone keeps their own. You will not force your spouse to give you back her (because, let' face it, guys are the only ones who want the ring back) ring. Yes, I know you've only been married for a year; it doesn't matter. Yes, I know the ring belonged to your grandmother; it doesn't matter. Yes, I know you she once said during an argument she didn't want the ring anymore; it doesn't matter. Everyone keeps their own ring.

The only real exception to this rule is if she committed fraud by never intending to stay married just to get the ring. The problem with this exception is you can never prove it. And when I say never, I mean never. It may happen in the movies, but it simply doesn't happen in real life.

What this issue comes down to is guys spend way too much money on wedding rings. I mean, honestly, one quarter of your yearly income on a ring? Take a moment and think about how irresponsible that is. You're putting yourself in a hole right at the beginning of your marriage, and for what? A diamond and some gold? Your money is much better spent ensuring you, as a couple, are free from debt. That will decrease the stress in your marriage and minimize conflict.

So, lesson learned if you bought her a $15,000 ring and you want it back now: you shouldn't have bought a $15,000 ring.

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