Judge Rules Woman Must Return Engagement Ring To Ex-Fiancé

When an engagement ends, where the diamond ring goes is a longstanding, complicated question. We had two experts weigh in earlier, and now a broken engagement in New York has forced a judge to rule on the issue.

Danielle Cavalieri and John Gunther got engaged in March 2008 with plans to marry on Oct. 2, 2009. But they split and supposedly agreed that she would return the ring, and he would reimburse her father for their engagement party and hand over the $9,000 in their joint bank account. But then Cavalieri refused to return the 2.2-carat white gold ring. The issue was taken to court; Gunther filed a suit last year to get the ring back, and Cavalieri filed a counterclaim in December that she was entitled to the jewelry because Gunther was allegedly unfaithful, demanding $100,000 for the emotional distress she suffered. Now, the debate has come to an end, at least in this court. On March 30, Justice F. Dana Winslow ruled that Cavalieri had to return the ring, saying state law allows a person to get property back that was given “in contemplation of marriage” and that “fault in the breakup of an engagement is irrelevant.”

This totally sucks for Cavalieri, but, fortunately for her, her broken heart has moved on: She’s getting married to someone else on Saturday.

Do you agree with the judge’s decision? [NY Post]

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