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“Now that you’re gone, all that’s left is a band of gold…” -Freda Payne
The shining, unbroken circle of a wedding ring is a symbol of promise and eternity. That’s a beautiful thought on your wedding day as your ring glints in the sunlight. It’s somewhat less so as you’re leaving the courthouse with your divorce decree clutched in your hand. What do you do with a symbol of forever, when forever didn’t last as long as you planned?
Movies are full of images of people tugging off their wedding rings and flinging them into oblivion. But there are better options for what to do with a wedding ring after divorce. After all, a wedding ring has value—and so do you. Why not use that ring to benefit yourself, or someone else you care about? Here are some thoughts about what to do with that band of gold.
Your marriage may not have worked out the way you expected, but that doesn’t mean it was a failure. If you have children together, they’re proof that something good came out of your relationship. And to them, your wedding ring isn’t a symbol of a marriage that ended, but of the start of their family. Children of divorce often don’t have a lot of family keepsakes, sometimes because those tangible items were too painful for their parents to maintain in the aftermath of a divorce. Having your wedding ring might be a source of joy and connection for your child.
Usually in divorce, a wedding ring is considered the property of the spouse to whom it was given. But if your wedding ring or the diamond in it was your ex-spouse’s family heirloom, you might want to consider giving it back, even if you’re under no legal obligation to do so. Your ex might not deserve that generous gesture, but it can make you feel like the bigger person and help you move forward with dignity. And if you are continuing to co-parent with your ex, doing something kind (that you didn’t have to do) could set a positive tone for your relationship going forward.
You can have your wedding ring melted down and the jewels reset into another piece of jewelry, for you or for your children. New rings, necklaces, and earrings are common, but a jewelry designer can help you come up with even more creative options. Not interested in wearing your old ring? If you’re feeling creative, you can repurpose it into a multimedia piece of art using other materials that catch your eye.
You can donate your ring outright; there are numerous organizations that accept donations of engagement and wedding rings for various purposes. Find one that makes you feel happy to help. Or you could sell your wedding ring and distribute the proceeds to one or more of your favorite charities. Knowing that you’ve used your ring to help people in need can be a real emotional boost when you’re feeling down about the end of your marriage.
If receiving a wedding or engagement ring was the start of one chapter of your life, letting it go can help fund your kickoff of the next chapter. Throw a divorce party. Take a cruise, maybe to the honeymoon destination you dreamed of that your ex-spouse voted down. Buy yourself a new wardrobe, or something that you’ve always wanted that your ex never wanted to spend the money on, like a piece of furniture or artwork that’s to your taste. Every time you look at it, it will remind you how you turned a symbol of your old life into a symbol of a new beginning.
Let’s face it: some of us are a little bitter after divorce. You can find a harmless, and creative, way to vent some of those negative emotions. You can buy a tiny wedding ring coffin, decorate it as you see fit, and lay your ring (and your past) to rest. You don’t have to literally bury the ring, but if you’re not ready to deal with it, you can at least bury it in the back of a drawer in style.
In short, there are plenty of things that you can do with your old wedding ring after divorce—but you have to get through your divorce first. To learn more about what to expect from the Minnesota divorce process and what to do after your divorce, call Mundahl Law at 763-575-7930 to schedule a consultation.