SA Return Gifts After Relationship Ended?

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22 February 2015
i was in a 10 weeks relationship, not de facto, during which time he received a lump sum compensation amount, which I had no knowledge of prior to the relationship. I broke it off for personal reasons and because he wouldn't stop buying me things. He now wants it returned or paid for, I have no money and some gifts include a car, and cosmetic surgery. Do gifts have to be returned? I have returned all of the gifts I would never use, he is now threatening court action against me. The car is all in my name and the car yard paperwork is in my name, which was done in his presence.

Sarah J

Well-Known Member
16 July 2014
Melbourne, Victoria
Hi Lindy72,

An unconditional gift given to you during the time of your relationship need not be returned. A gift, once given, cannot be retrieved without the receiver's consent.

A conditional gift (e.g. engagement rings) may need to be returned upon he breakdown of a marriage.

Whether a gift is conditional or unconditional depends on the circumstances surrounding the gift giving. Most gifts given throughout a relationship would appear to be unconditional and unless the gift-giver can prove that it was the understanding of the parties that the gift was conditional upon something (e.g. marriage or continuation of the relationship for some time) then the gift belongs to the gift receiver.