When people get a divorce, the same thought enters their minds, "What should I do with the ring(s)?" For some, the answer is simple, but for others, deciding what to do with the ring takes as much consideration as the timing of changing their status on Facebook from married to "single."
Typically, the wife gets to keep the engagement and wedding ring after divorce, and the husband usually keeps his. In many cases, especially for the woman, the engagement ring can be quite valuable.
For many young couples, the engagement ring can be the largest asset of the marriage. So, it's not uncommon for the wife to walk away with valuable rings, and she can be uncertain about what to do with them.
Here are some common solutions:
- Save the rings
- Give them back
- Save them for your children
- Sell them
- Throw them away
- Have them redesigned by a jeweler
For some, the "do nothing" approach works for the time being. They put the rings someplace safe and leave them there until they meet someone special. If you're not sure what to do with the rings, it's a good idea to put them in a safe place until you can deal with it more rationally in 1-3 years.
Give it back – The law in most states says that the engagement ring belongs to the wife. Since its valuable, it's rarely a good idea to just hand it back without a second thought, unless it's a family heirloom. If you are going to return the engagement ring, you have every right to ask to be compensated; for example, by receiving other property or having marital debts paid.
Sell the ring – If you're under financial stress, who can criticize you for getting the ring appraised and selling it? If it means keeping the house, taking care of the kids, or keeping another useful asset, it may be a no-brainer.
Save it for your children – No matter how your marriage ended or why, wedding and engagement rings have a degree of sentimentality to them. Even if the rings bring back bad memories right now, believe us, one day your child may cherish them when they get older, especially if you have a daughter.
Think Twice Before Throwing it Away
Some folks feel like all they want to do is head over to Lake Erie or Mill Creek and toss the rings in the water, washing away the bitter memories of a love long lost. Though it may be tempting to do this, it's not the best idea to throw a diamond ring away.
Even if you sell the ring and donate the proceeds to a charity, it's better than tossing it like a piece of rubbish. This way, you can help feed a homeless child or find homes for neglected animals, or help fight autism or childhood cancer.
As hearts heal and the pain of divorce subsides, you'll be glad that you did something with the ring that was positive and meaningful.