Once you have decided to get divorced, you’ll suddenly be faced with several logistical, financial and legal issues to resolve. One of these is what to do with your wedding ring, something that can be so awkward that some couples avoid the subject entirely. However, this can make any lingering resentment between you and your spouse worse, so it’s best to handle the ring as best as you can.
When to Stop Wearing Your Ring
If the decision to get a divorce was arrived at mutually and you and your spouse are still on friendly terms, you probably don’t need to talk about the timing for taking the rings off.
However, if you’re in a situation where your spouse doesn’t want to talk about the divorce or is in any sort of denial about what is happening, a conversation about when to take your wedding rings off may be helpful. Ideally, both of you can agree on a date to stop wearing them. Should your spouse claim they don’t care, you can still let them know when you’re planning on taking your ring off permanently.
The Ring’s Place in Your Divorce Proceedings
In a divorce, the jewelry that belongs to each person is usually viewed as their personal belonging, like clothes. The exception here would be if you and your spouse invested in jewelry while you were married. In that case, it could be valued like an asset collection (such as a coin or art collection).
A wedding ring often differs from other jewelry in many ways, including the ones below.
• It may be the most expensive piece in the jewelry collection.
• It can carry significant meaning and sentiment as a marriage symbol.
• It may have been given as a gift from one spouse to the other spouse.
• Many times, neither spouse wants to keep the rings, and they don’t want the other spouse to keep them either.
Many people decide to sell their wedding rings. Of course, you may only receive 20 to 40 percent of the ring’s value, but it’s not worth anything if you’re going to stop wearing it and keep it tucked away in a jewelry box forever. You can also consider passing the ring onto your children or other relatives.
If a decision is made to sell the ring, do you share the proceeds with your ex? The answer may depend on many factors. One to consider is if the wedding ring was purchased in the spirit of a gift or as a mutual investment.
When a wedding ring has been passed down via an ancestor, it can seem to complicate matters at first, but it ultimately simplifies them. In this situation, you can hold the ring for the person in your family who is most likely to be getting married. If only a specific part of a ring is a family heirloom, such as the ring itself and not the stone, you can separate it and sell the part that was only purchased and added for your marriage. The heirloom part can be re-purposed for another piece of jewelry.
Overall, the most important thing to remember is that you should think about and talk to your spouse about what to do with the rings as part of your divorce process. You can also discuss your options with your family law attorney. Whatever you decide to do, give it some thought first. While it may be tempting to just toss the rings away and be done with it or ignore them entirely, doing so could add some unnecessary tension and wrinkles to your divorce.