If my ex-girlfriend gave me gifts, do I have to give them back?

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If my ex-girlfriend gave me gifts, do I have to give them back?

She gave me some gifts she would like them back do I have to give them back There is an engagement ring. Does she have to give that back?

Asked on July 18, 2018 under Family Law, Wisconsin

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they were a gifts when given, you are under no obligation to return them. The key issue is the giver's intent when the items were given, not what giver thinks now. If they were presented as gifts (i.e. not loaned or sold), there is no right to request them back or seek payment for them. As for thr engagement ring, the general rule is that such a ring is a gift made in contemplation of marriage. That being the case, most courts have held that this type gift is conditioned upon the marriage actually taking place. If the marriage goes through, the condition is satisfied and the woman is permitted to keep the ring; if the marriage does not occur then the would-be-bride must return the ring.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If they were a gifts when given, you are under no obligation to return them. The key issue is the giver's intent when the items were given, not what giver thinks now. If they were presented as gifts (i.e. not loaned or sold), there is no right to request them back or seek payment for them. As for thr engagement ring, the general rule is that such a ring is a gift made in contemplation of marriage. That being the case, most courts have held that this type gift is conditioned upon the marriage actually taking place. If the marriage goes through, the condition is satisfied and the woman is permitted to keep the ring; if the marriage does not occur then the would-be-bride must return the ring.  


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