Does the ring mean a thing?


Draya Michelle

We all have guilty pleasures.  Keeping up with reality stars happens to be one of ours.  Over the past few months we have been intrigued by the case of Draya Michelle (Basketball Wives) and her on-again, off-again relationship with Orlando Scandrick, cornerback for the Dallas Cowboys football team.

As you may have heard, Draya and Orlando were engaged in June after a casual night out in Sherman Oaks, a neighborhood in Los Angeles, California.  He proposed with a six carat cushion cut diamond ring.

However, by the following month, the couple was broken up!  In the ensuing weeks there were very public accusations flying between the couple.  Though titillating fodder for the gossip blogs, we take accusations of domestic violence very seriously. We hope that if there is anyone reading this that finds themselves in an abusive situation that they will seek help immediately from law enforcement or any responsible person they trust.

But back to the ring…

You might be wondering, as we were, what happens to the ring after an engagement is called off?  Does the recipient get to keep it? Do they have to return it?  What does the law say?

Well, your better etiquette manuals may say one thing (return the ring), but the law isn’t as clear.  These matters are truly handled on a case-by-case basis.  Generally, once a gift is offered and accepted, if cannot be taken back. However, engagement rings are different because they are not quite gifts.   They are more like conditional gifts, or even contracts:  “I am giving you this gift with the presumption that you are agreeing to marry me.”


Orlando Scandrick


The ring is given in contemplation of marriage, if that agreement of getting married is broken, then the giver of the ring has an argument that the contract was not fulfilled and therefore the ring should be returned. The same may even hold true if the giver is the one who cancels the wedding.
Please know there is no statute that directly tells you what happens. So because it is decided on a case-by-case basis, the judge can decide that the ring remains with the recipient. One fact that makes it much easier to get the ring back is if the ring is a family heirloom.
As this article states, understand that the law always outranks etiquette, so if you ever find yourself in a broken engagement, don’t rely on Emily Post–hire The Poliard Law Firm for your needs!  Call us at 678-422-6275 for a consultation today!