Many of us have heard this question before. If an engagement ends, should a woman be allowed to keep the ring? I suspect that the overwhelming majority of woman will say yes. But in my opinion it depends on the circumstances. If the woman breaks off the engagement then she should give the ring back. But if the man breaks it off then he doesn't deserve to get it back. But it's not always what you do, it's how you do it.
For one New York man, ending his engagement via SMS cost him $53,000.
Louis Billittier Jr. broke off his relationship with his fiancé, Christa Clark, in 2012 by sending her a text message. When Clark asked Billittier, “Your sick doing this through a text message???,” the man replied, “Plus you get a $50,000 parting ring. Enough for a down payment on a house.”
Those words apparently sealed his fate. Although Billittier sued his former fiancé, a New York judge ruled ring was no longer a part of the marriage contract that would have normally reverted back to the purchaser, but rather a “parting gift” that Clark could keep.
Bilittier sued Clark to get the ring back. But Judge Russell Buscaglia ruled last week that Clark was entitled to the white gold, 2.97-carat diamond ring or its fair market value. Bilittier, a restaurateur, and Clark, a nail technician, had been engaged 14 months, according to the paper. Billittier called off the wedding when Clark refused to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Although ending a relationship is never easy, perhaps this case will give others pause before breaking up in such a cold, impersonal way.
The lesson in this story is, never give anybody anything that you wouldn't mind giving away.