You might want to think twice if you're planning to ask someone to marry you -- but are fooling around with someone else. A man who asked the mother of his child to marry him, gave her a $10,000 engagement ring, bought a house with her, and then dumped her when he decided to run off with another woman, has to cough up $50,000 for breach of promise, a judge ruled.

The couple, Melissa Cooper and Christopher Ned Kelly, had been together for a decade and had one child together. After Christopher allegedly asked Melissa to marry him and gifted her with an engagement ring, she says she quit her job at his suggestion, so she could stay home and raise their child while he continued to support them.

But things started to go wrong when Melissa found out that Christopher was seeing another woman -- and that they'd been having an affair for two years. Some women would have kicked the guy to the curb, but Melissa, like a lot of other women, believed Christopher's promises that he would stop seeing the woman.

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But it wasn't long after that Melissa found out about yet another woman. And this one Christopher said he was leaving Melissa for.

Melissa sued for "breach of promise" in the Georgia courts -- and won! Christopher must pay her $43,500 (about half of the value of their home) and $6,500 for lawyers fees.

Christopher's defense had hinged on his testimony that he never actually asked Melissa to marry him -- kind of a lame defense given that she had an engagement ring.

This relationship sounds like it wasn't going well for years -- not only was Christopher a chronic cheater, but Melissa herself admitted to an affair with someone after the proposal.

Sounds like a big mess. I honestly didn't realize you could sue people for breach of contract when an engagement goes sour. On the one hand, trying to hold people to their promises when it comes to relationships is a fruitless endeavor. People say all kinds of things when they're in love, or falling out of it, and god knows, many are not truthful.

On the other hand, it's not such a bad idea for people who have rearranged their lives and finances to have some kind of payback after someone stiffs them on the promises that put them in a bad financial position.

Just another reason women should never put themselves at the mercy of a man financially.

Should people pay for broken engagement promises?

 

Image via TelaChhe/Flickr