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Dave Kennett
Dave Kennett, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 27689
Experience:  25 years experience as practicing attorney
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I met a man and he asked me to marry him. I wantedto wait to

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I met a man and he asked me to marry him. I wantedto wait to complete the ceremony to be sure we were doing the right thing. I was on a limited income and we felt that it would be in both our interests to combine houses instead of maintaining separate living. As I was the legal guardian of three grandsons, he agreed to help raise them as his grandchildren. I moved out of my rental home, and consolidated my things with his disposing of many items to avoid duplication and funds were used to support the combined household. Shortly after we moved in, his whole demeanor changed and he becamse hateful and cruel to the children and me. I helped support the home, purchased the groceries, cooked all the meals, cleaned and even remodeled (doing the work myself) parts of his home to accomodate our belongings. About two months later he started hinting that we were not compatable and I needed to find other accomodations. He has given me 30 days to move which is not entirely unreasonable but the timing is not. I am a substitute teacher so I work when school is in session. With Thanksgiving and Christmas break, my income will be reduced creating a greater hardship finding a suitable home for the boys and me especially when all my excess income has been used in supporting our existance in his home. I feel he has entered into this relationship under false pretenses. Do I have grounds for a Breach of Promise suit?
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Was there anything in writing regarding the arrangement to live in his house or to marry him?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

There was no written contract but he did take me and the children to his church and introduce me to them as his fiance. He was introduced to my five children and their children as my fiance. I had even advised friends at my various work places that I was engaged and we were planning to get married after the new year. My grandchildren began to call him papa. We started looking for larger housing accomodations and talked about buying a bigger house after the marriage.

Dear JACUSTOMER - There was certainly a break of promise but that does not always translate into a breach of contract or provide the basis for a lawsuit. Engagements for marriage are broken every day so that in itself is not something that is the basis for a suit. Real estate agreements are required to be in writing such as a lease or deed etc. so if there was no written lease you were legally a month to month tenant and would have no right to remain in the house for longer than 30 days from the time a notice was given. The fact that you were introduced to friend and family as a fiance was true but that's why there are engagement period for people to decide whether to actually get married and when things don't work out it is not a breach of a legally binding contract. So I see no legal basis for you to sue for a breach of contract simply because the engagement didn't work out. It is always a risk whenever two unmarried persons decide to live together without the protection of the domestic relations laws and especially for the party who doesn't own the property. If he did not provide a 30 day written notice then he has not followed the landlord tenant laws and you will not have to leave until he figures out how to evict you legally. Of course this will not be a pleasant situation but he has no right to force you out without filing a suit in the local court after the legal notice of 30 days is properly served and you still fail to move. So your legal rights are only as a month to month tenant and I see no way you could sue him for monetary damages.
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