Promise or Marriage Agreement must be in writing to Enforce or Get Ring Back.
A promise or agreement made on consideration of marriage or living together is not enforceable in court.
There is an exception; the promise or memo of promise must be in writing and signed by the person obligated by the promise.
In other words, any prenup agreement must be in writing and signed.
In the case of Curtis v. Anderson, in 2003, the fiance (man) demanded his engagement ring back.
Here are the facts: he proposed and argued that there was a mutual understanding that the ring would be returned if the marriage did not happen.
Well, it did not happen. Now, Curtis wants his ring back. The Court said, “No.” Sorry Curtis.
The common rule is that Engagement rings are traditionally given in contemplation of marriage or ‘on consideration of marriage.’
What the Court said made sense. Basically, there is no mutual understanding absent an written agreement.
Therefore, the Court applied the law of contract; however, there is a catch.
“The donor (person who proposed) who breaches the agreement to marry cannot recover his gift (ring) back.
So, the Rule applies when the donor defaults.
Long story short, the Rule says: if the donee breaches the marriage agreement, the donor can recover his gift.
Although we do not handle pre-nuptial agreement, we encourage pre-marriage counseling.
Also, if you both have ‘mutual understanding’, make sure it is in writing.