Jilted Groom Wants Something Back and It's Not the Ring

wedding ringWhen couples break up, all kinds of bad feelings go around, and it's not too uncommon for them to culminate in a lawsuit. Especially when there are non-refundable wedding fees involved. But one jilted New York groom, telecommunications executive Steven Silverstein, is taking his hurt feelings laughably too far.

Silverstein says his fiancee, Kendra Platt-Lee, called off their engagement and left him with $27,000 in fees related to what would have been their September nuptials. He is suing to get half of the amount back. Fair enough. He also wants $19,000 that he claims she withdrew from their joint bank account that isn't hers. Fair enough. Oh, and he's suing for $28,000 in rent that he paid on their apartment, because he only would have been living with her provided they were going to get married. Huh??

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Steven, darling boy, last time I checked, a woman living with you was not a guarantee of her hand in marriage. An engagement ring is a promise of marriage, and she returned the ring, as you admit in your case. But living together is a time to see if two people CAN actually live together happily and want to get married. I'm sorry if you took living together, and your paying of the rent, to mean that you now "owned" your girlfriend.

Anyway, Steven, if you were so concerned about your paying the rent and its meaning, why not get it in a legal contract? "You, Kendra, agree to live with me for so-and-so months/years, and in exchange, you will marry me at such-and-such date. If you don't marry me, you will refund me your half of the rent payments." I mean, if you're going to be a stickler about it.

Now, if two people buy a house together, this would be different. Most lawyers will draw up a contact as to what happens to the house in the event of a break-up or divorce. Does one party buy out the other? Does one party refund the down payment? Do both parties sell the house and split the earnings? This is because a house is considered an asset. Rent is not an asset. Steven might as well ask for the money back for every dinner he ever bought his fiancee, since he considered dinner-buying to be a guarantee of marriage. Puhleese.

Fellas, there is often a cost to courtship -- and how much you want that cost to be is up to you. No one forces you to pay a woman's rent (or buy her gifts, or dinners ...). There's an easy solution if you don't want to pay a girlfriend's rent -- that is to not pay it.

Should rent be refundable if a relationship ends?


Image via CubanRefugee/ Flickr

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