If you are a fan of fine jewelry, you may love the overall look and feel of your wedding ring. This is especially true if you had some sort of say in its design or even picked it out. Even though your marriage is barreling toward an inevitable end, you would like to hold onto your wedding ring.
According to Maryland Courts, both divorcing spouses have an equitable interest in the marital estate. Therefore, when divvying up marital assets during your divorce, you should try to apply principles of equity and fairness. Can your soon-to-be ex-spouse force you to give your wedding ring back to him or her, though?
You probably own the ring
It is important to understand that Mayland’s equitable distribution rules apply to the marital estate and not to separate property. While defining “separate property” can be somewhat challenging, things you owned before your marriage are usually separate from the marital estate. The same is true for gifts.
Because your current spouse gifted you your wedding ring, it likely belongs exclusively to you. While you may decide to return your wedding ring in exchange for something else or for another reason, the decision is probably entirely yours.
You could have a marital agreement
It is not uncommon for intending spouses to create prenuptial agreements. Some married couples even decide to draft postnuptial ones. Either way, if you have a marital agreement of some type, it is worthwhile to see if the agreement addresses your wedding ring. Indeed, the agreement could require you to hand it over to your current spouse.
Ultimately, if your marital agreement demands you return the ring to your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it may be time to consider whether your agreement is legally enforceable.