Does size really matter? Wedding ring, marriage expenses and divorce.

Does size really matter in marriage? A study published in the Journal of Economic Inquiry examined if the amount of money spent on a wedding could predict the length of a marriage. The study suggested that the more money spent on an engagement ring does not predict a longer marriage. Rather, the data suggests the opposite. The study also found the amount spent on a wedding cannot predict a long lasting marriage.


We found that marriage duration is either not associated or inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony. Overall, our findings provide little evidence to support the validity of the wedding industry’s message connecting expensive weddings with positive marital outcomes.

Francis-Tan & Mialon: “A Diamond is Forever” Journal of Economic Inquiry

What happens to an engagement ring in divorce?

In Meyer v. Mitnick (2001), a case I was actively involved with, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that:

. . .an engagement ring given in contemplation of marriage is an impliedly conditional gift, that is completed only upon marriage. If the engagement is called off, for whatever reason, the gift is not capable of becoming a completed gift and must be returned to the donor”.


Simply put, once married, the engagement ring is considered a gift and remains with the recipient. If the wedding is called off, the ring gets returned to the donor.

What about the cost of the marriage?

In many cases, weddings are paid for by parents of the bride and groom. In other cases, the parties incurred debt to pay for their wedding and this debt is marital and therefore divided upon divorce.


So does size matter? As it relates to the engagement ring, it does not. As to any other aspect of a marriage, we will leave that to your imagination.

Let us help you navigate this challenging time with greater clarity and confidence. For personalized legal advice, feel comfortable contacting us.

By: Daniel Findling (c) 2024.

Our Core Values.


Ph. 248-399-3300 : : After hours emergency?+1 (248) 633-8583

I have been exclusively practicing divorce and family law in Michigan for almost 30 years. The attorneys at Findling Law all share the core value of practicing law to help people navigate change in their lives, without compromising principles.  We specialize in high socio-economic, high-profile and high-conflict cases, while also working with clients of all backgrounds. We recognize that the most important aspect of the practice of law is the application of the law to your specific circumstances. That is why we provide more free information on divorce and family law than any other Michigan law firm. We want to help you manage your situation. Allow our exceptional legal team to help you navigate the change in your life, without compromising principles.

change custody

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *

Call Now Button