Who Keeps The Carats?

Divorce is daunting and dividing up assets can be difficult, but what happens to the once shining glimmer of hope? Who keeps the ring?

When Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries divorced after their 72-day marriage, Humphries sold the ring at auction for $749,000. Most couples aren’t quarreling over a $749,000 ring, but all wedding rings are valuable, and deciding who keeps the carats can be contentious.

The Carats Keeper

Each state has its own laws regarding the owner of the ring when a marriage ends. In New York, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee, and many other states, the ring is considered a ‘conditional gift’. It is given to the recipient as a part of the agreement to marry. If the couples is divorced, the ring is returned to the giver. In states such as Alabama, Kansas, and Montana the ring is considered a gift with no strings attached. It is owned by the person it was given to, even if the marriage is broken. For information regarding your state’s laws, contact your local bar association.

Exceptions to the Rules:

Most states do not revise the rules even if the ring was a family heirloom, although many times the recipient thinks twice about keeping it.

If you are the carats keeper and decide not to pass the diamonds down or you decide the ring is restricting you from moving on, you might want to consider selling the ring.

How to Sell the Ring:

The first step is determining how much the diamond is worth. You might want to get it appraised, but be aware that an appraisal is usually for insurance purposes and may not reflect the current going price for a ring like yours. So look at prices for comparable rings and stones to get an idea of actual prices in the current marketplace.

You might consider selling the ring to a local Pawnshop or jeweler if you are in a hurry to be rid of the rock. However, you are more likely to get more money for your ring if you sell it to another person directly because the store has to resell it for a profit.

Another avenue is the popular site, I Do Now I Don’t which specializes in the sale of diamond rings. The online marketplace allows buyers and sellers to cut out the middleman and the markups. The ring and the payment are handled through the site, which offers a layer of protection for both parties, but you’ll pay a commission to the site.

When considering how to handle the ring, keep in mind that ending the marriage is not just upsetting you but your former partner as well. If you recognize this, you might consider selling the ring and splitting the profits. After all you the two of you shared emotional investment in the ring, so sharing the financial seems fitting in many circumstances.