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After divorce, who gets the engagement ring?

Although Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries were only married for 72 days, their divorce process has already dragged on for more than six months, with no end in sight. In fact, their next family court appearance isn’t scheduled until August.

Throughout those six months, the estranged husband and wife have disagreed on whether to seek a divorce or an annulment, with Humphries insisting on the latter, alleging that the marriage was based on fraud. Now, it seems that the couple has begun fighting over a small, but costly, detail of their short-lived life together: Kim’s engagement ring.

When Humphries got down on one knee (in front of E! television cameras, of course), he gave Kardashian a 20-karat diamond that was worth an estimated $2 million. It is not known whether he paid for the ring himself, but now he is asking for the bauble back. According to an unnamed source, he “can’t fathom why Kim would want to keep it.”

It remains to be seen how Humphries and Kardashian work out their engagement ring issue, but the dispute raises a good question: when a couple divorces, who keeps the engagement ring?

The answer to that question is, according to one celebrity family law attorney: it depends. “An engagement ring is a gift of contemplation, a contemplation of marriage. If the marriage takes place it is a completed gift. If it doesn’t take place, the prospective husband has an argument to get the ring back. But this marriage took place,” he said, adding what many of us have been thinking throughout the engagement, marriage and divorce. “For all we know, maybe this whole thing was for show.”

Source: Huffington Post, “Kim Kardashian Divorce: Kris Humphries Wants Engagement Ring Back,” May 8, 2012

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