(Closed) What to do with Chinese Engagement (Tinghun) Gifts After Annulment

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
7439 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Hi – costiera:  I see this is your first posting here on WBee… so a BIG Welcome to “the Hive”

I did a bit of GOOGLING for you… and didn’t find anything specific to answer your Question (but did come across this tidbit on Chinese Marriage & Divorce, Dowries & Annulments = http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Nqogu/sandbox )

From my perspective, I think this is less of an Etiquette Question… and more of a Legal one.

So, honestly, you’ll probably have to consult a Lawyer (inside or outside of the Chinese Community, I guess is up to you… maybe 2 consults) … which is what most folks have to do when they are facing the prospect of Divorce.

A Lawyer will help you to answer any Questions you may have, and know and understand your Legal Rights.

As I said, I couldn’t find anything specific about Chinese Dowries or Bride Price… but from the tidbits I garnered from Wikipedia (and a few other sources) on Chinese Marriage (Wikipedia has several other entries on it as well).  It looks like the Bride Price is a “custom / tradition” of giving GIFTS to the Bride and / or her family… so I would assume that if you are living in a Western Nation (USA – Canada etc) then Gifts are deemed to belong to whom they were given to.

Such as an Engagement Ring & Wedding Band are legally the property of a Bride once she is married (and you did say you’ve been married for 3 years)

But again, I am only guesstimating here… you really need to consult with a Lawyer


Post # 5
662 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@costiera:  Does his mother know about the annulment?  What’s your relationship with her like?  If you get on well, perhaps you should talk to her about your concerns.  As it seems like there’s no animosity between you and your husband, perhaps she’ll be able to talk about it reasonably?

Post # 6
1498 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Do you WANT to keep anything? If not, I’d return it regardless of tradition and legalities. If you want to keep it, I agree with consulting a lawyer.

Post # 7
602 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

If she gave you something that was sentimental to her, then you should return it. If it was all new then it’s your choice.

Post # 8
2200 posts
Buzzing bee

@VioletSky:  +1- I would consult his mother if you and her have a decent conversation.

Post # 11
5592 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

@costiera:  like

View original reply
@This Time Round:  said, I don’t know if it’s as simple as whether it’ll offend her.  It may not necessarily be something you have to return to your mother in law, but they would likely count as common property between you and your husband, and depending on where you live, HE may have claim to it.  It’s the issues that come up when foreign tradition meets modern (US, I’m assuming) law.  I would definitely consult a lawyer as to whether they’re considered a gift to you personally and need to be returned.

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