How important is a family’s blessing on your marriage? Is it a deal-breaker? obstacle? or a nonfactor? For Kandi Burruss of the Real Housewives of Atlanta, it is at least a hindrance because her mother’s disapproval hinders her wedding planning. But should Todd see it as a deal-breaker especially if Kandi refuses to stand up against her mother’s disrespect for him. More importantly, would Todd face legal consequences for calling off the engagement?
Recently the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed an award for breach of promise to marry after a bride to be sued her ex-fiancé for calling off their engagement. The decision provided that Melissa Cooper and Christopher Kelley shared a home with their child beginning in 2000. At some point during their cohabitation, Kelley started a relationship with another woman. In 2004, he proposed to her with a $10,000 ring while still maintaining his other relationship. Cooper, subsequent to accepting his proposal, discovered the relationship (he had for two years), and demanded he end it or lose her. Relying on his promise to end the relationship, Cooper continued planning for their marriage until 2011 when Cooper called off the engagement to pursue a relationship with someone else.
Since Christopher Kelley proposed to her, under state contract law he extending an offer for marriage. Melissa Cooper accepted his proposal making the arrangement a binding contract. His defense that no promise existed given that no wedding date was set, the alleged engagement was going on eleven years, Cooper was aware of his infidelities, and he claimed he never asked her “will you marry me,” did not defeat her claim that they had a binding contract to marry. Kelley breached this contract by calling off the wedding and requesting she move out of their home to pursue another woman. The court therefore held he is liable for damages totaling $50,000.
So could Kandi Burruss or Todd Tucker assert the same claim if one of them calls off the wedding? Well they are both domiciled in Georgia. Just like Cooper and Kelley, they live together, he proposed to her, she accepted his proposal, both hold themselves out as engaged on national television, and the fact that there may not be a wedding date or he allegedly is unfaithful would not, standing alone, defeat a binding contract to marry. So Kandi’s mother, Mama Joyce, may want to consider the financial liability her daughter may face if she calls off the wedding because of her antics. Although she may find satisfaction in using his suit as proof that he is an opportunist.
Would you excuse them for breaking up?