Tag Archives: engagement rings

A Football Player, a Ring and a Broken Engagement

In a recent lawsuit filed in Harris County, Texas, Buffalo Bills defensive end Mario Williams sued his ex-fiancée, demanding that she return a $785,000 diamond engagement ring. Williams alleged that Erin Marzouki broke off the engagement last January and never had any intention of marrying him. Williams accused Marzouki of absconding with the ring.

Marzouki filed a counter-suit, denying the allegations and accusing Williams of having numerous instances of cold feet and ultimately breaking off the engagement himself. Marzouki alleges that Williams made it clear in writing that he wanted her to keep the ring after their last of many breakups in December. According to her, Williams communicated his wishes in text messages to her father and brother.

This raises the question:  When the engagement is broken, who gets the ring?

Texas courts will usually consider an engagement ring to be a conditional gift in contemplation of marriage.  This means that unless the future event occurs, the gift isn’t final.  If the event (the marriage) doesn’t happen, the gift must be returned. This rule is founded upon the principle that if the person that accepted the engagement ring is the one who breaks the engagement off, then the ring should be returned because the gift was never completed.

However, a court may also look at whose fault it is that the marriage was called off.  Sometimes, a court will rule that if the ring giver had a change of heart, the recipient should be allowed to keep the ring. The issue of who broke off the engagement seems to be a big question in the Williams/Marzouki engagement, so how the court will ultimately rule may turn upon this fact.

Only time will tell if diamonds really are this girl’s best friend.  However, if you are either seeking to keep an engagement ring or get one back due to a botched engagement, working with a knowledgeable San Antonio family law attorney will help you obtain relief you desire.