WHO GETS THE WEDDING/ENGAGEMENT RING?
As a divorce attorney, I often get asked, “Who gets the engagement ring?” The answer is: It depends. If there was no marriage, we would need to look at the court’s decisions in other states for guidance since South Carolina courts have never answered this question clearly. There is no doubt that the wedding ring was a gift to the bride to be, but some courts have considered the gift to be a completed gift while others see the ring as a conditional gift. If the ring is considered a completed gift, then the woman usually keeps the ring. If the court sees the ring as a conditional gift, meaning that it was given conditioned upon marriage, then most courts have ruled that since the marriage did not occur then the ring should be returned. For an exhaustive study on engagement rings and how they are treated when the marriage does not occur, read Campbell v. Robinson, 398 S.C. 12, 726 S.E.2d 221 (S.C.App. 2012).If, however, the marriage ceremony occurred, then the courts in South Carolina generally order that the wedding ring remains the brides as it was a conditional gift in contemplation of marriage. Since the marriage took place, the court sees the ring as a gift given prior to the marriage. Therefore, because the ring was a gift given before marriage, it would be considered pre-marital property and not subject to a division by the family court.
Rhett D. Burney, Esquire
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU ARE IN A CAR WRECK
Let’s say that you have taken all of the precautions you can, but you are still in a wreck. What do you do? Depending on the extent of your injuries and the nature of the accident, here is a list of things you should consider doing if you are in a wreck:
- First, check yourself for injury. Next, check your passengers for injury. Also make sure no one in the other vehicle is hurt. Call 911. If someone is injured, do not move them unless they are in danger, i.e. the car is on fire or in danger of being struck by a passing vehicle, the person is not breathing, etc.
- Understand where you are and make sure others can see you and your car. Move your car if doing so would be safer.
- If you are injured, then you should seek medical care as soon as possible. You should do your best to follow your doctor’s advice. Your failure to seek medical care and follow your doctor’s advice could be very bad for your health and hurt your chances at being fairly reimbursed for your injuries and other losses.
- Do not admit fault at the scene. Statements made at the scene can be used as evidence against you. There will be time later to address who was at fault. However, if the accident was your fault, you must tell the truth.