Do you have to return your wedding ring to your ex-spouse?

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Family Law | 0 comments

Going through a divorce can be a long and stressful process. After all, in addition to having to deal with the emotional consequences that naturally come with ending a marriage, you also must divide your marital estate. This means you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse must divvy up everything the two of you own.

According to Washington law, divorcing spouses divide marital property according to what is just and equitable under the circumstances. This means fairness should play a role in determining what happens to your marital assets. Is your wedding ring subject to equitable distribution, though?

Your wedding ring is separate property

After you walked down the aisle, your spouse slipped a ring on your finger. Upon the conclusion of your marriage ceremony, the ring became your exclusive property. That is, the ring is a gift your spouse gave to you. As a result, the wedding ring is separate from your marital estate, and you do not have to divide it or its value equitably with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

You might have a marital agreement

You and your husband or wife might have finalized a pre- or postnuptial agreement. If so, you should read through the agreement to determine whether it addresses your ring. Specifically, you should check to see if your marital contract requires you to return the ring or do anything else with it. If it does, you may have little choice but to comply with the terms of the agreement.

Ultimately, absent a marital agreement that says otherwise, you likely are free to do whatever you choose with your wedding ring.