Legal Question in Civil Litigation in Michigan

This is a two parter

First off my exfiance and I moved into a townhome in June 2013, she decided to leave me in October 2013. We both signed the least, both names are on it. I cannot break my lease without her giving her notice of vacating. So I am stuck paying all of the rent, that we agreed we would split 50/50 when we moved in. She has ignored me and refuses to respond to me in any form of communication. Is she supposed to be paying still because she never found a replacement for

Living there and has left me high and dry in a place that I don't want to be.

Secondly, she still has the engagement ring that I am still paying for monthly. I believe that the ring is an agreement to marry. Not a gift. I want this back as well because I don't want to be paying for this monthly either.

State I live in is Michigan by the way.

Asked on 2/01/14, 7:45 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Christopher Brown Brown & Associates, Legal Services, PLLC

If you both signed the lease you are both responsible to pay rent, If you are considering breaking the lease, it's best to work out an agreement prior to leaving. Most landlords do not want to go through the cost and headache of the eviction process.

In regard to the ring you are correct. See the below copy of my blog on this topic.


The question: who keeps the ring when the wedding is off? came up twice this week. In Michigan, there is a case called Meyer v. Mitnick which was decided in 2001 which resolves the issue.

The woman in that case argued that since the man was at fault for not following through, she should get to keep the $20,000 engagement ring. The man argued that the ring was a conditional gift. The �condition� was that in order to keep the ring, the wedding had to happen. The wedding would then fulfill the agreement and the gift would be completed. This wasn�t like a Christmas present. It clearly represented something more.

Finding fault and blame the other for the break up has nothing do with it. The Court in Meyer wrote: In sum, we hold that an engagement ring given in contemplation of marriage is an impliedly conditional gift that is a completed gift only upon marriage. If the engagement is called off, for whatever reason, the gift is not capable of becoming a completed gift and must be returned to the donor.

I routinley negotiate contracts and can assist you with retreiving your ring. More likely than not a strongly worded letter from an attorney should do the trick. Feel free to contact me on my alternate number to discuss.

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Answered on 2/01/14, 7:56 am

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