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The Legalities of Love: Who Keeps the Ring?
Written by Your 5News Team
Last updated on February 27, 2013 @ 11:26AM
Created on February 25, 2013 @ 4:22PM
Thousands of couples used the Valentine's Day holiday to propose to their significant other, and to get the ball rolling to a wedding day. 
But, some legal experts say there are some things you should know before dropping to one knee and popping the question. 
5 News spoke to Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of, who told us there's a few things you should think about because after all, marriage is supposed to be a lifetime commitment.
Remember, a wedding isn't just a big fancy day in a church or wherever you choose to say, "I do."  It's a legal contract recognized by the state government.  Married couples get plenty of legal protection, especially when it comes to financial matters, like medical care and end of life decisions, and collecting on a dead spouse's Social Security, as well as making decisions on the estate. 
A lot of times, couples have prenuptial agreements in place to spell out division of finances.  But experts tell us, if you're going to make the commitment, it's not just emotional, it's very financial as well. 
Back to that engagement ring that started this whole process.  Say you split up before you walk down the aisle, who gets the ring?  The guy or the girl?
"A lot of people go to court over that engagement ring, and here's how the law looks at it:  An engagement ring is a conditional gift that's given in contemplation of marriage.  So, in a majority of states, if there's no wedding, then you have to return the engagement ring," says Bodine.

In other state's it's not always so simple as to who gets to keep the ring.  In fact, in the state of Montana, the ring is a gift and once a gift is given, it cannot be taken back.

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