Engagement

If you are thinking about becoming engaged, or are currently engaged, Max can discuss the issues and rights of individuals in regard to personal property, should the engagement be broken.

 

Many times, the issue revolves around the engagement ring and who is entitled to keep it.  The case of Lindh v. Surman put this issue to test.  In Lindh, an arbitration panel ruled that the wife-to-be was entitled to keep the ring.  However, the Court of Common Pleas reversed the decision, allowing the husband-to-be to keep the ring.  The Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court's decision.

 

When the case was argued before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, the parties agreed that the engagement ring was a conditional gift.  The court held that the gift was conditional upon marriage, not upon the acceptance of the proposal.

 

Further, the Supreme Court ruled that the "no-fault" system that governs divorce proceedings in Pennsylvania is applicable to the engagement ring dispute, citing that in order to determine who was at "fault" required a detailed inquiry into the facts surrounding the failure of the relationship and would ultimately burden the lower courts.

 

Since the "gift" of the engagement ring was conditioned on marriage, the husband-to-be was entitled to keep the ring even if he was the one to break the engagement.