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What happens if, in your post-Fourth of July celebrations, you have an epiphany? And the epiphany is that you do not want to marry that person that you proposed to during your Memorial Day celebrations?What happens if you gave that then-significant-other an expensive diamond ring? Are you now entitled under Illinois law to get that significant piece of carbon and gold back from the now-insignificant-other?

If you’re the one doing the breaking up, Illinois appellate courts have said that that gifted ring stays on their finger and not in your pawnshop.

This involves the law of gift giving. If a condition is attached to the gift, the gift stays with the receiver so long as the condition is fulfilled or the receiver is not at fault for breaching the condition. If the gift receiver breaks a condition of the gift, then the gift giver may be entitled to get the gift back.

Donations of money to private or governmental institutions are governed by the same general principles unless there is a specific law dealing with that specific institution.

So, if I give $60 million to a certain university with the conditions that the money be used to build and maintain an ice area for that university’s varsity hockey team, that the university gets a hockey program approved by the NCAA and that the arena is to be named after me, those conditions must be complied with. The university agrees, and I write the check.

If the arena is built but my name is not used on it because the university president doesn’t like what I have written about him/her in the past, I can ask for that 60 million back and the university just might have to refund it.

Grants from governmental and private institutions also typically have requirements or conditions for the use of the money given. These conditions may be extensive and complex coupled with extensive reporting requirements (especially if it is the government giving grant money, say, to legal aid organizations).

Violation of such conditions could result in termination of further money flow and possibly require the repayment of the money given depending on the conditions understood and agreed to by the parties (or required by a particular law/regulation) before the gift or grant is tendered.

Gifting money to any governmental agency or to some private organizations typically requires documentation that specifically sets forth all the terms and conditions so there is no misunderstanding of the conditions of the gift. Donations are also typically tax-deductible if the receiver qualifies as a deductible charity under IRS regulations.

In the legal chapel of marriage proposals, Illinois courts have ruled that if the party who gave the engagement ring on the condition that the ring-getter marries the ring-giver, and before marriage the ring-getter gives the giver the middle finger on the marriage proposal, then the ring must be pulled from the ring finger and returned.

However, if the giver is the one who changed their mind, sorry dude, the ring can now go to her pawnbroker.

Next holiday, maybe try restraining the nature and extent of your celebrations.

Sobriety can be a useful thing from time to time.

Brett Kepley is a lawyer with Land of Lincoln Legal Aid Inc. You can send your questions to The Law Q&A, 302 N. First St., Champaign, IL 61820. Questions may be edited for space.