diamonds arent forever - blog header


It is not uncommon for people to separate during an engagement period before they get married. It then begs the question, who keeps the engagement ring? Does the recipient have to return it to the donor?

Whilst you cannot sue a former fiancé for Breach of Promise in Australia anymore, you may be able to hold onto the engagement ring. In appropriate circumstances, an engagement ring can be deemed a conditional gift, conditional upon the marriage actually taking place. If the donor of the ring is the party who cancels the engagement without legal justification, then the recipient of the ring can be entitled to keep the ring. However, if the recipient of the ring calls off the engagement without legal justification, then the donor may be entitled to ask for the return of the ring. The same can be said for other gifts.

Having said that, remember that if you are in a de facto relationship during your engagement period, then someone may bring a claim for property settlement via the Family Court and any ring may be dealt with in this settlement. Often, especially with more expensive rings, it becomes part of the asset pool available for distribution between the parties and is given an agreed value or a valuation is obtained.