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Engagement ring after a breakup | City counsel

Does my ex-fiancée have to give back the ring?

Photograph: Andrew Nawrocki

My fiancée and I broke up. She claims it’s all my fault. I have asked her to give back the engagement ring I bought. Can she keep it?

Courts in Illinois generally say that the ring is a conditional gift, meaning it’s given “in exchange” for marriage. Whoever breaks off the engagement loses the bling. Keep in mind: Judges who aren’t Greg Mathis are reluctant to act as therapists and delve into the he-said-she-said reasons for the split. In a recent case, the court refused to blame a cheating boyfriend and ruled that his ex give the ring back because she ended the engagement. Now, that new iPad you gave her for Christmas? That’s a completely different issue.

Ken Levinson is a trial lawyer at the Chicago firm Joseph, Lichtenstein & Levinson. Send your legal queries to klevinson@jlllawfirm.com.

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