A Georgia man by the name of Christopher Ned Kelly found that out the hard way recently when a court ordered him to pay his jilted ex-fiancée $50,000.
Kelly broke off his engagement to his baby mama, who’d stayed with him time and time again after she’d caught him cheating on her.
A court found that Kelly was in breach of his promise to marry, after the fiancee discovered he had been in a two-year relationship with yet another woman.
According to ABCNews, Kelly 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 Kelly’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 that began 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.
In April 2011, Cooper found out his relationship with yet another woman. This time, Kelly told her that he wanted to be with that woman and that she and the children should move out.
Cooper decided that enough was enough and 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.
Part of Kelly’s defense was that he never said the words, “Will you marry me?” to her, the court filing states.
“We never had very many discussions around marriage. I personally never initiated any conversations around marriage,” he said, according to the Georgia appeals court ruling.
In answer to questions that he was seeing another woman three months before and after the proposal, Kelley testified, “It’s possible.”
“Throughout our ten-year relationship, there will be very emotional times and you will do things that doesn’t necessarily represent, you know, the actuality of life,” he said in court, the document states.
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.
Booo-yah!! Score one for the baby mama!!! 🙂
Cooper’s attorney, Jason Smith, said Georgia lawmakers should re-enact common law marriage in the state to prevent legal wrangling like this.
“By law the marriage doesn’t exist, but for practical purposes, it’s a marriage,” Smith said. “They were together for 10 years. They acquired property together.”
Kelley claimed, “I never initiated the concept of marriage with her, outside of giving her that ring,” according to the court filing.
Smith said his client plans to use part of the $50,000 judgment to purchase a home for she and her two children. She has primary physical custody over their child and he pays her child support.
The moral of this story? Don’t put a ring on it if you’re not tryna lock it down cause in a court of law, the ring DOES mean a thing!