Feature

Engagement rings that inspire...lawsuits?

When a bride backs out of her wedding, can her fiancé sue for the ring? Slate's Casey Greenfield looks at the litigious side of engagement

It's the worst-case scenario of weddings, the sort of thing that could make Miss Manners implode: A bitter broken engagement leads to the courtroom, where jilted lovers duke it out over rights to the wedding ring. Legally, a bride-to-be's diamond — which often costs tens of thousands of dollars — actually represents a "binding contract," explains Slate's Casey Greenfield. If the bride breaks her "promise" to marry, she's bound to return the ring. But this law sometimes gets a little murky. An excerpt:

“Christopher Reinhold of Staten Island says the diamond ring he gave to Collette DiPierro, who broke off their engagement in September 2009 after four months and growing doubts, is rightfully his. He has sued her to get it back.…But DiPierro says that because Reinhold proposed on her birthday, the $17,500 ring was a gift, not a token symbolizing a promise to marry. So she can keep it. Or, actually, spend it: Neither Reinhold nor DiPierro claims sentimental attachment; both would be happy with the ring's cash value.

“Contract law takes the view that the exchange of a ring for the promise to wed constitutes a binding contract. It's not the most romantic narrative, but in a court fight over a diamond, romance already lies in the dust....”

Read the entire article at Slate.

Recommended

6 luxurious homes with great bedrooms
House
Feature

6 luxurious homes with great bedrooms

The Check-In: New rules for visiting the UK, securing your house while on vacation, and more
A front door.
Feature

The Check-In: New rules for visiting the UK, securing your house while on vacation, and more

The Week contest: Anti-aging quest
Supplements.
Feature

The Week contest: Anti-aging quest

Did Dry January accomplish anything?
Drinking glasses.
Picture of Harold MaassHarold Maass

Did Dry January accomplish anything?

Most Popular

The next pandemic?
A hen.
Briefing

The next pandemic?

The U.S. economy is shifting toward disinflation. Here's why that's welcome.
Discount pricing
Not getting worse

The U.S. economy is shifting toward disinflation. Here's why that's welcome.

Ohio town at risk of deadly chemical explosion following train derailment
A train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
Choo-Choo Trouble

Ohio town at risk of deadly chemical explosion following train derailment