In New York, an engagement ring is a conditional gift, the condition being that a marriage takes place. If either person calls off the wedding, the receiver will likely have to return the ring unless the ring is given on a holiday like Christmas, a birthday or Valentine’s Day. In this situation, the receiver can argue that the ring was a gift for that holiday and not solely in contemplation of a marriage. Another exception to giving the ring back if there is no marriage is if the giver of the ring was still married when marriage was proposed. An agreement to marry when one is already married is void.
Once a marriage occurs the engagement ring is the property of the recipient. Thus in a subsequent divorce matter, the ring is the recipient’s separate property and it is not subject to equitable distribution.
Therefore, if you are considering proposing on Saturday, I suggest surprising your significant other early and propose today!