who gets the ring if you decide not to get married?

Who gets the ring if you decide not to get married?

A few years ago, Dean Kuehnen Jr. proposed to Andria Castellano, and presented her with a 3.23 carat engagement ring. The couple, who were both 21 at the time of the proposal, broke off their engagement in September. Now, Kuehnen is suing for the return of the ring, which is valued at $48,800.00.

I’ll let you think about that for a second.

Kuehnen is obviously suing because the ring has substantial value, but the larger point is this: when a couple becomes engaged, if the gentleman has paid for the ring, it goes back to him if the engagement is broken off. If the ring is an heirloom from the bride’s family (her mother’s ring, for example) she keeps it (and ideally returns it to the family member who gave it to her in the first place).

If the couple have shared the cost of the ring, they should sell it and split the money; alternatively, the half of the couple who does not want the ring may buy out the other partner.

If they both want the ring — as is the case here — there is always the court system. Although one hopes it will not come to that.

And of course, there will be those cases when a gentleman may just cut his losses and walk away, leaving his former fiancee in possession of the ring. This is always his prerogative, although I doubt many men would do that with a ring that cost nearly $50,000.00.

(And — do I really need to say this? — it might be prudent to think carefully about exactly HOW MUCH one spends on the engagement ring. Not that anyone proposes marriage assuming that the deal will fall through, but really, $50,000.00 is a lot of money.)


Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.