Heirloom jewelry is often more special than modern pieces. After all, not only do the setting and metals have monetary worth, but the ring has sentimental value. If you want your proposal to be as memorable as possible, handing your soon-to-be spouse an heirloom ring undoubtedly will get the job done.
Neither you nor your family wants to risk forever losing the heirloom ring, however. Even though you are not thinking about divorce now, a divorce might make that happen. Therefore, it probably makes sense to sign a prenuptial agreement before you walk down the aisle.
A potential divorce
You might think your upcoming marriage is going to last a lifetime, and it certainly might. Still, according to reporting from NBC News, roughly half of marriages end in divorce. Simply put, it is probably silly to ignore the possibility of a future divorce.
If you and your future spouse decide to call it quits, you are going to have to divide up everything the two of you own. New Jersey has an equitable distribution statute, which means each of you should wind up with a fair share. Equitable distribution does not apply to gifts, however.
As a gift you give to your spouse, the engagement ring is probably separate property. This means your spouse can likely keep your family’s heirloom ring in the event of a divorce.
A prenuptial agreement can take your heirloom ring out of the equation, as you can negotiate an agreement that requires your spouse to return the ring if the two of you divorce. Ultimately, rather than having to rely on your spouse to do the morally right thing during a potentially bitter divorce, you can gain some peace of mind by executing a prenuptial agreement.