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On the legal pitfalls of a wedding
Under engagement we mean the state, when according to the generally accepted customs, (albeit far from exclusively) the man decides to propose his beloved, women of his dreams. As a symbol of a commitment, the groom puts the engagment ring on the ring finger of his - bride to be, which is usually followed by cheers and tears of happiness – in a base case. But what happens if tears of happiness turn to anger and fury? Lets see who gets the last laugh in cases like that.
Examining this event from a legal perspective, when the dialougue „Will you marry me?“ „Yes!“ takes place, a verbal agreement is concluded between the parties, which is traditionally confirmed by putting the ring on the finger, as an implicit conduct.
But what happens if we have already ordered all proprieties of our expensive weeding and the beatific „i do“ is only a few days away, albeit instead of that either party suddenly backs out from the planned joyful event.
First, we examine as an example the event when the bride realizes that she does not want a wedding yet, or she does, but not with the current groom. What happens to the engagemnet ring in cases like that? Although, if we relay on traditions, the generous gentlement might be hurt, but he will not ask the engagement ring he bought back, albeit legally he would have an opportunity to do so. The Donor may revoke the engagement ring, if he donated it exclusively in the hope of a conclusion of a marriage, and this presumption for which the handover of the engagement ring happened, later – not from the fault of a donating groom – shatteres definitely.
It has to be noted that in the case of a gift of a common value and in the case of forgivness – for example if the groom does not asks the engagement ring back for a longer period without a proper reason - revokation cannot take place.
As a further example lets see the situation, when the groom backs out from the wedding, moreover only few days before the planned wedding day, which means that all service agreements are concluded, wedding and bridal dress ordered with all the accessories thereof, the wedding cake chosen, the location booked. With a view to the fact that a wedding in most cases has very significant costs - usually only per day , how are we able to enforce our claim for damage?
If the bride could trust in good will that the marriage would be entered, whilst all steps towards the wedding planning and the undertaking of commitments had happened with a substantiated reason, furthermore they had been made based on the grooms motive of the intentional implicit conduct, and on the promise of a marriage contract, the bride will derive a claim for damage caused by incetement, which can be enforced before court.
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This article was written by: dr. Nora Marinescu, Senior Associate
BWSP Gobert and Partners