My fiancee and I recently broke up because he became extremely psychologically abusive to me and told me to leave during a drunken rant. He is now demanding the engagement ring back. I have my family diamonds in the ring and also contributed money towards the cost of the ring. I offered to give him the ring back if I can take out my diamonds and he pays me what I have into the ring. This seems fair to me. He disagrees and is now threatening to sue me for the ring. What are my rights? I really don't want to deal with this in court.
1 Answer from Attorneys
For general information on legal issues regarding engagement rings in Ohio, see the legal guide I wrote here: http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/he-broke-off-the-engagement--do-i-have-to-give-the-ring-back
Your issue is complicated by the fact that you've put money into the ring and contributed your own diamonds. Generally, an engagement ring is a gift that is conditioned upon marriage. If marriage doesn't result, the ring has to be returned. Since you've put money and property into the ring, it would be inequitable to require you to return the entire ring, as your ex-finance would be unjustly enriched based on your contributions ($, diamonds) to the ring.
Your solution sounds fair and I suspect it might be what a court would order, should he file a lawsuit for the return of the ring. It may be helpful to consult with a local attorney who could help you broker a resolution with your ex-fiance.