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Should You Sell Your Wedding Ring After Your Divorce?

Posted on in Division of Property

Should You Sell Your Wedding Ring After Your Divorce?You have a sentimental and monetary decision to make in regards to what you should do with your engagement and wedding rings after your divorce. There are three options:

  • Sell the rings;
  • Keep the rings; or
  • Give the rings back to your former spouse if he or she gave them to you.

Studies have found that Americans spend more than $6,000 on average for an engagement ring, and that average may be more than $8,000 in Illinois. Thus, the fate of your rings is highly valuable to you and your former spouse.

Selling the Rings

Illinois courts consider engagement and wedding rings to be gifts between spouses, which means they are separate from marital property. As the owner of the rings, you have the right to sell them and keep all of the proceeds. A premarital agreement could create an exception if the agreement states that you must either return the ring to the original purchaser or share its value as marital property. The value of your rings can still affect your division of property, even if they are not part of the marital property. The court has the discretion to compensate a spouse in the division of property if the other spouse has significant nonmarital properties.

Giving Back the Rings

You have no legal obligation to return your engagement or wedding ring to your former spouse after your divorce unless you previously agreed to do so. It is customary to give back an engagement ring if your engagement ends before your marriage. Courts may define an engagement ring as a conditional gift, meaning that the recipient can keep the ring on the condition that he or she gets married. Once the marriage has happened, any legal or customary obligations to return the ring are gone. However, you may still want to return the ring if:

  • The ring was a family heirloom of your former spouse that has sentimental value to him or her; or
  • You want to make a symbolic gesture to yourself that you owe nothing to your former spouse.

Keeping the Rings

Your engagement and wedding rings may hold sentimental value, even if they also remind you of your divorce. You are unlikely to continue wearing the rings but may not want to rid yourself of them. By keeping the rings, you can give them to your children for when they get married. You can also use elements from the rings to create a new piece of jewelry.

No Wrong Choice

Your engagement and wedding rings have monetary and emotional value to you after your marriage. A Kane County divorce attorney at Goostree Law Group can help you decide what to do with your rings. Schedule a free consultation by calling 630-584-4800. 


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