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Football player's engagement ring is 'conditional gift' (p. 1)

The musical "Guys and Dolls" has a wonderful number in it called "Take Back Your Mink." Theater fans who saw the revival in Chicago this winter should be familiar with the lyrics: Take back your mink; take back your poils, what made you think, that I was one of those goils? The song is a kind of anthem to pre-nuptial property division -- the courts would want to know, though, if the mink and pearls were given as promises of marriage.

A professional football player and a former Miss USA contestant had some real-life experience with this recently. He sent her an engagement ring. When she turned down his proposal, he demanded she return the $76,000 gift. The matter appears to have been settled today; according to news reports, a hearing set for this afternoon was canceled.

According to court documents, the would-be groom sent his girlfriend a number of items for her and her family in early February -- just in time for Valentine's Day. Included among them were a videotaped marriage proposal and the ring. She turned him down but kept the ring.

Here the affidavit and statements of the girlfriend's father diverge. In the affidavit, the professional athlete claims he asked that the ring be returned, only to be told that the pageant contestant had lost it. The woman's father denies this completely.

The player's next step was to file an insurance claim. The investigator discovered that the woman's father had the ring -- it hadn't been lost at all.

We'll continue the story and explain the "conditional gift rule" in our next post.

Source: Odessa American, "Dallas star wants ring back," Jon Vanderlaan, 07/06/2011

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