When Engagements Are Called Off, Here's Who *Legally* Gets to Keep the Ring

2018 has been a rough year for celebrity couples. It doesn’t seem like we can make it cleanly through week without hearing about yet another duo biting the dust, but hey, that’s apparently life now that the world feels like this:

The latest breakup shattering hearts is that of Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson. There’s a reason every discussion of their romance was prefaced with the adjective “whirlwind,” but it doesn’t help ease the sting for fans who felt they just might be different. While emotionally, there is no doubt a lot to work through in the aftermath of such a travesty, for anyone breaking off an engagement, there are also practical concerns. What do you do if you live together, for instance? And what do you do about shared belongings and gifts — like the engagement ring? 

Ariana Grande / Instagram

It’s a less discussed aspect of a split, but one of the most practical concerns: Who gets the keep the bling when you decide you’re actually not ready for happily ever after? Obviously, most couples will suss that out among themselves, but when they do, they might want to keep the law in mind. According to USA Today, the person who legally has a right to the ring varies state by state. The ring is a gift, but it’s also a gift that generally comes with the condition of a promise to get married, which changes things. 

RELATED: Ariana Grande Speaks Out for the First Time Since Mac Miller’s Death

“It is the difference between the ring as consideration for the promise to get married as opposed to the ring as a ‘gift’, as gift is defined in the law,” Anita M. Ventrelli, senior partner at Schiller, DuCanto & Fleck, told the outlet. “In the case of the ring as consideration for the promise to marry, if one does not perform on the promise to marry, one is not entitled to keep the consideration.”

Basically, this means the ring goes back to whomever gave it. Apparently though, some states also factor in the person who broke off the engagement in the first place. 

So what’s the best thing to do? Well, since it varies state by state, consulting your state’s laws would be the best bet. Let’s hope Ariana and Pete are doing their (sadly separate) research. 

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