Man Has to Pay Ex $50K for Breaking Off Engagement

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A Georgia man who promised to marry his girlfriend and then didn’t, is ordered to pay her $50,000 after she sued him for ‘breach of promise’ and fraud after he left her for another woman.
Christopher Ned Kelley proposed to Melissa cooper on December 23, 2004. Court documents state he gave her a ring valued at about $10,000, she accepted, and the two moved into a new home.

The pair had lived together since 2000. Cooper was also the mother of Kelley’s young child and says she left her job at his request to stay home and raise their child and her child from a previous relationship, according to a court document.

After the proposal, Cooper learned that Kelley had been in a two-year relationship with another woman since before the proposal.  She confronted him but agreed to stay with him “because of his pledges not to see the other woman again and his promises thereafter to marry Cooper,” the court document states.

Then in April 2011, Cooper found out he was cheating with yet another woman. This time, Kelley told her that he wanted to be with that woman and that she and the children should move out.

That was the last straw! Cooper filed a lawsuit in Coweta County Superior Court for a number of claims against her former fiancee, including fraud and breach of contract to marry. A judge awarded her $43,500 and attorney fees of $6,500.

Kelley appealed the trial court’s decision, claiming his promise to marry was part of a “meretricious relationship and therefore not enforceable,” a court documents states. Which basically implies their relationship was almost like prostitution and he was her John if you will. He also argued that he never actually said the words, “Will You Marry Me?”

On November 22, 2013, Georgia’s Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the trial court’s decision, saying the promise to marry IS in fact, “enforceable” and the fact that the couple lived together before and after the marriage proposal is only collateral to the promise to marry.

Score for the baby mama! I’m actually glad that she won. Should she have stayed with him after finding out he had cheated? Probably not, but what was she going to do? She had two kids and thought they had a future together.

The moral of this story?  Don’t put a ring on it if you’re not going to follow through because in a court of law, the ring DOES mean a thing!

And that’s today’s helping of The Online Dish with Maggie.