If you have found the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, you have probably had thousands of thoughts about making the perfect proposal. In addition to finding a unique spot to get down on one knee, you are toying with the idea of proposing with your grandmother’s engagement ring.
Proposing with an heirloom piece of jewelry has its risks. Specifically, if your marriage ultimately ends in divorce, your soon-to-be spouse may have legal grounds to keep the ring. If you do not want your family to lose the ring forever, you may want to think about negotiating a prenuptial agreement.
Separate property during divorce
As you probably know, you and your spouse must divvy up all your marital assets when you divorce. Even if divorce is the furthest thing from your mind right now, you should know how Florida’s equitable distribution rules are likely to affect your heirloom ring.
According to Florida law, divorcing spouses usually divide marital assets equitably. A person typically can keep anything he or she separately owns, though. As a gift, your heirloom engagement ring likely falls into the category of separate property.
Put simply, if your spouse does not want to return the ring to you and your family after your divorce, he or she probably has no legal obligation to do so.
Your prenuptial agreement
Even though you may think your soon-to-be spouse would never be spiteful, divorces can become bitter. To protect yourself and your heirloom ring, you may want to draft a simple prenuptial agreement. In the agreement, you can expressly require your spouse to return the ring in the event of an unexpected divorce.
Ultimately, by taking a few planning steps before you walk down the aisle, you can be sure your family’s heirloom engagement ring remains in your family and not someone else’s.