Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Broken Promises To Marry

These cases have made news in Illinois recently.  Now, no longer is it expensive only to divorce, but to break an engagement.

From OnPoint:

In a complaint filed last week, Serafin is not only suing Leighton under an Illinois law that allows claims for breach of a promise to marry but limits a plaintiff's recovery to wedding expenses. She is also going after him for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), which entitles her to compensatory and punitive damages.


The lawsuit is the second of its kind to be filed in Chicago in the past three months. Dominique B...— yet another lawyer — sued her ex-fiancé Dec. 10, alleging he broke his promise to marry her and acted outrageously by, among other things, “receiving lap dances and other physical contact” from strippers at his bachelor party.

Read more here.


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A promise to marry is technically, legally speaking a verbal contract between two adults. If a written marriage contract is binding and enforceable against the parties, shouldn't a verbal engagement contract be binding as well?

Posted by: Tulsa Divorce Attorney | Mar 28, 2011 5:07:45 PM

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