Dear Carolyn,

My ex-fiancé and I ended our relationship.  He also took the engagement ring. I’m still paying for the engagement ring on my credit. He hasn’t made a single payment on it and the debt is in my name. He won’t give it back. Is there anything I can do?


Carolyn Answers:

While sad, the debt owed to the jewelry store is your debt. You will have to pay the jewelry store to protect your credit.

You do have a cause of action to get the ring back. He has essentially “stolen” the ring. I would make a police report for the theft of the ring. Depending on the dollar value of the ring, you possibly have a small claims court action. In North Carolina, Small Claims Court is a division of District Court where the individuals and businesses can litigate claims in which they are seeking relief of $10,000 or less. You can file such an action yourself without a lawyer. You also can recover personal property in Small Claims Court. If the ring has a value above $10,000, you will have to file a more complex lawsuit; you will likely need an attorney.

On the nonlegal side of things, you are lucky you did not marry this selfish creep. Count your blessings!



Send your questions on family law and divorce matters to “Ask Carolyn…” at, or P.O. Box 9023, Greensboro, NC 27427. Please do not put identifying information in your questions. Note that the answers in “Ask Carolyn” are intended to provide general legal information, and the answers are not specific legal advice for your situation. The column also uses hypothetical questions. A subtle fact in your unique case may determine the legal advice you need in your individual case. Also, please note that you are not creating an attorney-client relationship with Carolyn J. Woodruff by writing or having your question answered by “Ask Carolyn…”