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Massachusetts Law About Engagement Rings

Selected Case Law

De Cicco v. Barker, 339 Mass. 457 (1959). "It is generally held that an engagement ring is in the nature of a pledge, given on the implied condition that the marriage shall take place. If the contract to marry is terminated without fault on the part of the donor he may recover the ring."

Bowser v. Daly, 2006 Mass. Super. LEXIS 532, 2006 WL 3293414 (Middlesex Superior Court). "While both engaged in a heated altercation ..., it was undisputed that it was she who struck him, and the Court finds that this blow, rather than anything that he did, was the precipitating cause of their break-up. In these instances, he is entitled to have the ring returned."

Poirier v. Raad, 1995 Mass. Super. LEXIS 843, 3 Mass. Law Reporter 265 (Worcester Superior Court). "The person who terminates an engagement is not necessarily "at fault." Some engagements may be terminated by mutual agreement. Some engagements may be terminated by one party because of the other party's improper behavior…"

Other Web Sources

Engagement Rings, Mass. Legal Help, 2012. Briefly discusses who gets the ring both when a couple doesn't marry and after they do.

Returning an Engagement Ring, Nolo.com. Discusses the issue of engagement rings nationally.

Who Gets the Engagement Ring When the Wedding is Called Off?, Alan Pransky, Esq., March 2013. Also discusses what happens to the ring if there is a divorce.