What the law has to say about love

Updated: Thursday, February 14 2013, 12:16 PM EST
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NEWSCHANNEL 3 - On Valentine's Day you're sure to hear about love, marriage, flowers and candy.  One thing you don't tend to hear much about: what the law has to say about love.
According to Lawyers.com, the time surrounding Valentine's Day is the peak season for proposals.  And when people get swept up in the romance, they often forget about the ramifications.
So NewsChannel 3 took a look at some of the “legalities of love.”
For instance, if a couple gets engaged and eventually calls it off, who gets to keep the ring?
“The answer can actually be found in state law,” says Larry Bodine, Editor-in-Chief at Lawyers.com. “Legally an engagement ring is a conditional gift given in contemplation of a wedding, so if there’s no wedding in most states the engagement ring has to be returned.”
That law does not apply if you live in Washington, Texas or California. In those states, whoever gets jilted gets to keep the ring.  And in Montana, the ring is an “absolute gift” so the recipient does not have to return it.
Another topic of interest: falling in love online.  How can you protect yourself from fraud?
Bodine recommends, “Do what employers do. Google them, check out their Facebook profile, check out all of their social media profiles because you would be surprised how much incriminating information people put online.  Some of the people you meet online are just angling to find a way to get some money out of you.”
Bodine adds that for people who do eventually tie the knot, besides a lifetime of love, marriage also signifies a legal contract.
“You can now file a joint tax return, which means you can save some money that way,” Bodine notes. “Marriage also comes up in end-of-life decisions. So if your spouse dies without a will, state law provides that the surviving spouse will inherit the marital estate without any difficulty.”
For answers to other questions regarding the “legalities of love” click here:  http://www.lawyers.com/

What the law has to say about love
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