You spent $5,000 on a wedding ring before you asked your spouse to marry you. They said yes, you gave them the ring and then you got married. Now you are getting divorced, and you want that ring back. It’s not for sentimental reasons. You just want an asset worth $5,000. Can you get it back?
Generally, you cannot. You gave the ring to your spouse as a gift. You have no right to it after doing so, even if you paid for it. In the same way that you couldn’t legally demand a Christmas present back from your neighbor, you can’t demand a ring back from your spouse.
One way that people counter this is by saying that the ring came with a condition. That condition was that the two of you would be married. If your spouse had said no when you asked, you never would have given them the ring to begin with. Since you’re no longer going to be married after the divorce, can’t you get it back?
You can’t because marriage isn’t the condition. Getting married is. You already did that. If your spouse took the ring and then broke up with you before the wedding, you may be able to make this claim. But they did marry you, which is what you asked when you gave them the ring.
Moreover, since you gave them that ring before you were married, it could be separate property. You can’t even claim that you own it together and need to split it.
Asset division gets complicated. Be sure you know what rights you have.