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wedding ring after divorce

What to Do With Your Wedding Ring After Divorce

If you are recently divorced, you may be wondering what to do with your engagement ring and if you should return it to your partner. To help you figure out your options, we will explain what to do with your wedding ring after divorce and who legally owns it.

Deciding who the engagement ring legally belongs to is a tricky subject, because an engagement ring is a gift that is given before the legal marriage. Engagement rings are considered non-marital gifts or a conditional gift. 

A conditional gift is when if a certain condition has been met, then the recipient gets to keep the gift. For example, when a partner proposes and the other partner accepts the ring and they get married, then it is legally the recipient’s property. 

If the couple does not decide to get married and breaks up before the wedding, then the ring may need to be returned to whoever purchased it. 

wedding ring after divorce

If you got divorced and you are wondering what to do with your engagement ring, you are not alone. It is advised to not mention the engagement ring and wedding band during the divorce settlement. 

If the ring is a family heirloom that was given to you, it may be kind to return the ring to your partner. Your partner may even ask for the ring back because it is a family heirloom. If this happens, out of respect for the family, you may want to return the ring. 

Depending on who caused the divorce, your partner may ask you to return the ring. For example, if the husband is to blame for the divorce, then the ring belongs to the wife and vice versa.

wedding ring after divorce

Once you decide if you are the rightful owner of your engagement ring, there are many options for what to do with it. If you decide that you want to keep the ring as a reminder of your relationship, then that is your own personal decision to make. 

Engagement rings are special to people because they symbolize a couple’s love for one another and a promise to marry. Some people like to hold on to the ring to give to future children or keep in the family. 

wedding ring after divorceIf you definitely want to get rid of the ring, there are lots of options for what to do. Follow some of these 10 unique ideas to get rid of the engagement ring or wedding band. 

1. Sell Your Ring and Save the Money

wedding ring after divorce

One way to get rid of the engagement ring or wedding band is to sell it online or through a private seller. Many jewelry stores will buy your ring if you want to sell it.

If you have a relationship with a trusted jeweler, they may advise you and help you learn how much your ring is worth. Sometimes brick-and-mortar jewelry stores have a higher commission than an online retailer. 

2. Go on a Vacation With the Money

wedding ring after divorce

If you sell your ring and you are wondering what to do with the money, one great idea is to take yourself on a vacation with the money. After the stress of a divorce, you need time to get away and relax. Spend the money on a luxurious vacation if you need a much needed break. 

3. Buy Something You’ve Always Wanted

Another idea for what to do with the money from selling your engagement ring or wedding band is to buy something you’ve always wanted. If you need a new car, or a new bag, trade in the money for something you really want.

Splurge on something that makes you happy and buy something you will use and love.  

4. Donate the Money to Charity

If you are feeling generous, donate the money from selling your engagement ring to a charity. Depending on how much your engagement ring and wedding band is worth, the donation to charity may be the perfect opportunity to give back to the community. 

5. Pawn It

wedding ring after divorce

Another way to get money for the engagement ring is to pawn the ring. Pawn shops will often charge high commission fees for pawning an expensive ring, so beware of that before you enter the store. Get the ring appraised before going in so you know how much the ring is worth before pawning it. 

6. Have the Ring Redesigned

wedding ring after divorce

If you want another piece of jewelry made out of the diamonds or other jewels that were in your engagement ring, have the ring redesigned into exactly what you want. Take the ring to a jewelry store and share your ideas for how you want the ring to look. 

You can even turn the ring into a necklace or bracelet depending on what the jewelry store offers. You can look for online inspiration for other jewelry designs that you like, and turn it into a piece of jewelry that you will love and cherish forever without the reminder of your divorce. 

7. Use the Money to Pay Off Legal Bills

wedding ring after divorce

Divorce can get expensive, especially if you don’t have a prenup in place to settle detail in advance. Another idea to use the money from selling an engagement ring is to pay off your legal bills from the divorce.

If you don’t have the money upfront to pay for lawyers, it may be in your best interest to sell the ring and pay off any legal bills. 

8. Melt it Down

Another idea for redesigning the ring is to melt it down in the jewelry store and keep the precious materials. Gold, silver, and diamonds all cost a lot of money alone as raw materials, and can be turned into a piece of jewelry down the road. 

9. Throw it Away 

wedding ring after divorce

If you had a particularly bad divorce, it may inspire you to throw the ring away. Although passionately throwing the ring into the ocean or out your window may seem like a good idea at the moment, you may later regret it so be careful with this option.

10. Give it Away as a Gift

wedding ring after divorce

If you want to get rid of the ring, you may just want to give the ring to someone else. If you have children, it would be a good item to give as a family gift that is worth something. 

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Caroline Kinsley

Caroline Kinsley is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware. With a degree in media communications, Caroline’s passions are marketing and journalism. Caroline has always loved the wedding planning process, being the daughter of an event planner. In addition to contributions to Yeah Weddings, Caroline Kinsley has published articles in Delaware Today Magazine, Her Campus, and YOUR Magazine.

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