On the sad occasion that a couple decides to end their engagement prior to the marriage, a question that is often asked is who gets to keep the ring?

Often, engagement rings are expensive items that can hold important familial or emotive ties. The usual rule is the person who receives the ring may keep it is as the giving of an engagement ring is an ‘absolute gift’.

Section 3(2) of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970 states “the gift of an engagement ring shall be presumed to be an absolute gift”.

This presumption can be rebutted if the giving party makes it clear at the point of gifting the ring that it should be returned upon separation. In the case of a ring that is a family heirloom, it is possible the challenge the legal presumption above, but families should not rely on this.

Please contact our family department for more information.

Ali Granville