You ask your spouse for a divorce. At the same time, you ask them for their ring set back. You gave it to them when you got engaged, after all, so you still think of it as yours — especially now that you’re not going to be married anymore. After all, the ring probably cost thousands of dollars, so you don’t want to let that go. 

Do you get it back? Probably not. Generally speaking, the court looks at an engagement ring as a gift that you gave to your spouse. You even gave it to them before marriage, before the two of you were legally a couple at all. It may be their rightfully separate property, even though you bought it. 

There have been cases where women have had to give the ring back — in traditional relationships where a man proposes and presents the ring to a woman — but they generally focus on broken engagements. If your girlfriend said she’d marry you and took the ring, deciding to call off the wedding means she did not go through with the condition of that gift and so she can’t keep it. In your case, though, your spouse did marry you. That satisfies the condition. Getting divorced does not mean that you automatically get the ring back. 

Property division gets complicated during a lot of divorces. Deciding what to do with a wedding ring is just part of the process. Make sure you are well aware of all of the legal rights you have, the steps you can take and what you and your spouse can do to make this process go smoothly.