What To Do With A Wedding Ring After Divorce? Transform Or Sell?

Last Updated on January 19, 2024 by Lori Pace

Many practical and emotional questions are raised when a marriage ends. Dividing assets is one of the most difficult and common steps in a divorce. It can lead to long-drawn arguments between couples over bedroom sets and end tables. After dividing assets, there is only one question: What to do with your wedding ring after a divorce?

Some legal and emotional guidance is required when deciding what to do with a divorce ring. Although no one wants to divorce, it is something that every couple should expect. Arguments in court. While divorce is difficult, it can be easier to make other decisions once you have made that decision. Although a wedding ring is a symbol of your marriage, it is ultimately up to you to decide what happens to it once your marriage ends.

Who Gets The Wedding Ring After Divorce?

A wedding ring holds a special place in law. Certain states require that an engagement ring be returned to the original buyer if a wedding is canceled before marriage takes place.

California, Texas and Washington view the ring as an implied conditional gift. The person “left at the Altar” can opt to keep the ring or exchange it for their problems. Montana law views wedding rings as an unconditional gift. This means that they are not subject to conditions. The legality of who can keep the ring depends on where you live.

Wedding ring
Wedding ring is an unconditional gift.

The law is quite clear after you are married. Wedding rings can be considered an “inchoate,” which is an anticipatory gift, to the intended bride or groom. Stan Cohen, divorce attorney, says that the wedding ring is the property of the donor until the day. Cohen also mentions that once the couple is married, the gift is considered ‘earned’ and non-refundable.

Although it may seem like a relief to have the ring as the only material possession that you won’t be fighting over in court, the real issue is what you do once the papers are signed.

What To Do With Your Wedding Ring After Divorce?

There are a few options when it comes to your post-divorce wedding ring. You can:

Keep it

Divorce is a major life change. You don’t have to give up this last symbol of your marriage, something you probably wore every day. It can be kept and passed on to your children or put it in a drawer until you are ready to give it another life.

Sell it

It can be costly to start over after a divorce, but it is the price you have to pay for your freedom. You can sell your ring to make room for a new chapter in your life. Don’t worry if you don’t have the cash. You can donate the money to a worthy cause. You don’t have to be a symbol for unhappy times. Instead, you can make it a symbol for hope and freedom.

Repurpose it

Repurpose wedding ring

You can make your wedding ring more than just what you love. It’s common to make new jewelry from “divorce jewels“, such as earrings or necklaces. Many people don’t have the luxury of choosing their wedding rings. By creating something entirely new, they are taking control of their lives and creating their ending. 

Etiquette And Frequently Asked Questions

When should someone sell their wedding ring if they don’t have children or don’t intend to pass it down?

There are situations in divorcing actions that could give you pause while the property is still being divided. It’s more strategic than a legal reason.

Everything can be used as a bargaining chip in a messy divorce. From a sentimental and monetary standpoint, your wedding ring could be one of these. You should keep those cards close by until the game is over, just in case.

If the ring was an heirloom from their partner’s family, could there be any legal recourse for keeping or selling it? 

If the ring is of family significance, it’s best to have a prenuptial agreement be included. The ring, if there is no prenuptial agreement to protect the ring’s ownership, can be considered a gift. 

The owner can decide whether or not to return the ring. The owner may decide to trade the ring for something similar or more valuable in divorce proceedings, in hopes that the sentimental worth of the ring will outweigh the loss.

Lori Pace
Lori Pace

Lori Pace is a single mother of three daughters ages 7 and under. As a working mom from home, she balances kids, work and two crazy dogs with humor and love. Follow Lori as she honestly gives tips and advice based on her own experiences as a single mom!