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Old 06 March 2018, 09:32 PM
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Plurabelle Plurabelle is offline
 
Join Date: 29 September 2003
Location: Brussels, Belgium (home base: Ann Arbor, MI)
Posts: 1,056
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I know the law generally says it's a gift, but I think it could go a lot of ways unless one or both of the partners are acting out of spite (which is often, I admit).

If it's an heirloom, I think you *should* give it back, but what if there are extenuating circumstances - like the recipient invested millions of dollars in their partner's hobby and is merely trying to recoup something vs what she invested? This is why we have lawyers and divorce/civil court.

This is mainly why I think we need to broaden the legal terms of marriage and partnership - people who share a life 10 years should have the same legal avenues as people who are married 2 years. Breakups are almost always messy, especially with shared assets. For me in Perfect World, deciding to share assets requires an agreement about this sort of thing.

On the other hand, gifts are usually given freely. I've never given a gift expecting it back unless it were a loan (people abusing loans, that's a totally other story). But you have to be completely certain what you want to give as a gift. Keys to your apartment are not a gift. They are part of an understanding. It's cute if you put it in a box, but not a gift.

Divorces and breakups can be ugly, and can they be simple and friendly, and they can be something in between.

I can't imagine wanting to keep an engagement ring my ex-so paid for and gave me unless I planned to sell it... I obviously wouldn't wear it, so why, unless out of spite? Which seems...silly. At worst, if I were hard up, I might ask for some reasonable compensation.
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