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Thread: Cancelled Wedding and the Aftermath New York

  1. #1
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    Default Cancelled Wedding and the Aftermath New York

    Hello:

    I am posting this regarding the cancelled wedding of my brother-in-law. Hopefully someone can clarify a couple of things. His ex-fiancée refuses to return the engagement ring, until he meets a couple of ‘requirements’, which includes contributing to the costs of the cancelled wedding. Initially, he was willing, no questions asked, to share 50% of the wedding costs, but her holding a family heirloom hostage causes a lot of bad feelings in the family.

    As far as I know, she HAS to give the ring back unconditionally because it was a gift in contemplation of marriage. The only exception to this rule is if the ring was given during her birthday/Christmas when it can be argued that it was simply a gift, which is not the case.

    Regarding the costs of the cancelled wedding, what is he legally bound to do? She is demanding at least 50% of everything, including the wedding dress, the reception (even although the reception doesn’t refund the deposit, the reception hall ‘keeps’ the money as a down payment to a future event so it’s technically not lost), limo, flowers, etc. If this goes to court, will he be liable for sharing any costs at all? And what is reasonable? 50% of everything, including items that can be re-used (dress, reception, etc)?

    Thanks so much!
    Mark

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    Who called off the wedding?
    HOOK 'EM HORNS!!!
    How do you catch a very rare rabbit?
    (unique up on him)
    How do catch an ordinary rabbit?
    (same way)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mommyof4 View Post
    Who called off the wedding?
    He did after realizing that she was overly controlling and feeling forced by her and her parents into proposing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exm View Post
    Hello:

    I am posting this regarding the cancelled wedding of my brother-in-law. Hopefully someone can clarify a couple of things. His ex-fiancée refuses to return the engagement ring, until he meets a couple of ‘requirements’, which includes contributing to the costs of the cancelled wedding. Initially, he was willing, no questions asked, to share 50% of the wedding costs, but her holding a family heirloom hostage causes a lot of bad feelings in the family.

    As far as I know, she HAS to give the ring back unconditionally because it was a gift in contemplation of marriage. The only exception to this rule is if the ring was given during her birthday/Christmas when it can be argued that it was simply a gift, which is not the case.

    Regarding the costs of the cancelled wedding, what is he legally bound to do? She is demanding at least 50% of everything, including the wedding dress, the reception (even although the reception doesn’t refund the deposit, the reception hall ‘keeps’ the money as a down payment to a future event so it’s technically not lost), limo, flowers, etc. If this goes to court, will he be liable for sharing any costs at all? And what is reasonable? 50% of everything, including items that can be re-used (dress, reception, etc)?

    Thanks so much!
    Mark
    I'm not real sure of what the laws are on this, but I know that Judge Judy has always said that an engagement ring must be returned. Your BIL can always take her to small claims court (I don't reccomend Judge Judy) for the ring.

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    And, quite honestly, I believe he would only be responsible for those costs in the wedding he was directly impacting... and approving.

    In other words... if his controlling bride did everything and he had no input, I find it hard to believe that he will be on the hook for it.

    Depending on the value of the ring, go to small claims court... just be prepared to be countersued.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjeff View Post
    And, quite honestly, I believe he would only be responsible for those costs in the wedding he was directly impacting... and approving.

    In other words... if his controlling bride did everything and he had no input, I find it hard to believe that he will be on the hook for it.

    Depending on the value of the ring, go to small claims court... just be prepared to be countersued.
    Right, but it will be hard to prove, who did what and how much input he had in the process.

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    That is why we have courts.

    Have him get an attorney.
    Not everything that makes you mad, sad or uncomfortable is legally actionable.

    I am not now nor ever was an attorney.

    Any statements I make are based purely upon my personal experiences and research which may or may not be accurate in a court of law.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyjeff View Post
    That is why we have courts.

    Have him get an attorney.
    I understand and I value everybody's opinion, but before hiring an attorney, I would like to know where he stands legally. And I"m hoping that this thread can help me with that!

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    The idea that she MUST return the ring because it was a gift in contemplation of marriage is not absolute. In fact, NY has at least one case on point that ruled that a man could NOT get the ring back. Of course, in that case, the man was married to someone else when he proposed. But, in New York, judges have discretion to order return of any gift made in contemplation of marriage, in the event the marriage never takes place. It's not an automatic.

    Courts generally decide that the ring is a "conditional gift," meaning that it does have to be returned (that's what Judge Judy says). But since he called off the wedding, she may say that his proposal was a fraud, and be allowed to keep the ring.

    I think ultimately, he cannot demand the ring back AND not pay for the expenses. He proposed, he called off the wedding, and she is thousands in debt while he washes his hands clean. I think he either has to let her keep the ring, OR demand the ring back but agree to pay half the expenses. One or the other.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MomofBoys View Post
    The idea that she MUST return the ring because it was a gift in contemplation of marriage is not absolute. In fact, NY has at least one case on point that ruled that a man could NOT get the ring back. Of course, in that case, the man was married to someone else when he proposed. But, in New York, judges have discretion to order return of any gift made in contemplation of marriage, in the event the marriage never takes place. It's not an automatic.

    Courts generally decide that the ring is a "conditional gift," meaning that it does have to be returned (that's what Judge Judy says). But since he called off the wedding, she may say that his proposal was a fraud, and be allowed to keep the ring.

    I think ultimately, he cannot demand the ring back AND not pay for the expenses. He proposed, he called off the wedding, and she is thousands in debt while he washes his hands clean. I think he either has to let her keep the ring, OR demand the ring back but agree to pay half the expenses. One or the other.
    Thanks.

    I do agree that he has to contribute, but what is reasonable? Is it reasonable that he pays for half of her wedding dress? For half of the reception hall? Both can be re-used (as I mentioned earlier, the reception hall doesn't refund, but saves the deposit on any future events).

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    Quote Originally Posted by exm View Post
    Thanks.

    I do agree that he has to contribute, but what is reasonable? Is it reasonable that he pays for half of her wedding dress? For half of the reception hall? Both can be re-used (as I mentioned earlier, the reception hall doesn't refund, but saves the deposit on any future events).
    I suggest a swap. She pays for the dress, and he takes the hall and catering. He then throws a "NON WEDDING" and everyone has a good time.

    It would be a great family reunion, as most have already made plans to be there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by exm View Post
    Thanks.

    I do agree that he has to contribute, but what is reasonable? Is it reasonable that he pays for half of her wedding dress? For half of the reception hall? Both can be re-used (as I mentioned earlier, the reception hall doesn't refund, but saves the deposit on any future events).
    I think the idea that she can use the reception hall for a "future event" is a little far-fetched. I mean really, what's she going to do? Get engaged to someone else and schedule her reception in the same hall as the first failed marriage attempt? That's pretty much just a way for the reception hall to get out of retruning her deposit. But -- that's neither here nor there, just my opinion! Sorry!

    The contract at the hall probably includes a time limit. They will probably allow the deposit for a different event if it is used within 18 months, 3 years, etc. It's probably not as if she'll be able to use the money as the deposit 20 years from now. I would say in respect to the hall, he should agree to pay half upon expiration of the contract, OR with her agreeing to NOT use the hall for a "future event," at which point she would owe his half back.

    Perhaps they could come to an agreement about selling the dress, and then he owes her half of expenses less the money from the dress. ie, say she has spent $5000 so far, including $1000 for the dress. She sells the dress for $800, bringing the total expenses to $4200, and he would owe her $2100. See?

    I may be completely wrong, but it seems only fair that if the ring is a "contract," then all of her preparations for the wedding were her part of fulfiling that contract. After all, the ring was a family heirloom, so he didn't even have to pay for it. Yet she is out a lot of money for a marriage that he proposed then backed out of. I think the fact that he called off the wedding is key. I think paying half of reasonable expenses (dress, hall, church, flowers, ect.) is what he SHOULD do, whether a court orders it or not. I beleive that with HE being the person who called off the wedding, a court would order him to pay half, but would also order her to return the ring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MomofBoys View Post
    I think the idea that she can use the reception hall for a "future event" is a little far-fetched. I mean really, what's she going to do? Get engaged to someone else and schedule her reception in the same hall as the first failed marriage attempt? That's pretty much just a way for the reception hall to get out of retruning her deposit. But -- that's neither here nor there, just my opinion! Sorry!

    The contract at the hall probably includes a time limit. They will probably allow the deposit for a different event if it is used within 18 months, 3 years, etc. It's probably not as if she'll be able to use the money as the deposit 20 years from now. I would say in respect to the hall, he should agree to pay half upon expiration of the contract, OR with her agreeing to NOT use the hall for a "future event," at which point she would owe his half back.

    Perhaps they could come to an agreement about selling the dress, and then he owes her half of expenses less the money from the dress. ie, say she has spent $5000 so far, including $1000 for the dress. She sells the dress for $800, bringing the total expenses to $4200, and he would owe her $2100. See?

    I may be completely wrong, but it seems only fair that if the ring is a "contract," then all of her preparations for the wedding were her part of fulfiling that contract. After all, the ring was a family heirloom, so he didn't even have to pay for it. Yet she is out a lot of money for a marriage that he proposed then backed out of. I think the fact that he called off the wedding is key. I think paying half of reasonable expenses (dress, hall, church, flowers, ect.) is what he SHOULD do, whether a court orders it or not. I beleive that with HE being the person who called off the wedding, a court would order him to pay half, but would also order her to return the ring.

    That sounds reasonable.

    Latest update is that she wants him to paint the appartment back to its original color (their lease is up next month) before returning the ring. She refuses to help with that. Typical, isn't it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by exm View Post
    That sounds reasonable.

    Latest update is that she wants him to paint the appartment back to its original color (their lease is up next month) before returning the ring. She refuses to help with that. Typical, isn't it?
    Well, if she continues to be THAT unreasonable, then he should take her to small claims court for the ring, because he will probably win. I realize that it is hard to hear someone say, "Oops, I made a mistake" when it comes to marriage. But there is a line between being hurt and being a baby.

    I would assume that painting the apartment back is something they have to do as part of their lease. Why in the world people make upgrades to property they do not own is something I will never understand -- you should never paint or replace anything unless you make an agreement with the landlord FIRST (in writing) that your repairs can be deducted from part of your lease. That said, if it doesn't get repainted, then the landlord will probably just not return their deposit. If he's ok with that, tell him not to paint! if she really wants the money back, she can help.

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