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Posted: December 06, 2013

Man must pay $50k for breaking promise to marry

ATLANTA —

A Georgia man is learning the hard way that you need to keep your promises. A court has ruled that he must pay $50,000 for breaking his promise to marry his former fiancee.

According to CourtHouseNews.com, the state's court of appeals has ruled that Christopher Ned Kelley must compensate his former fiancee, Melissa Cooper, after first promising to marry her, but then ruining the relationships by allegedly cheating on her twice.

According to court documents, Kelley had given Cooper an engagement ring worth approximately $10,000, lived with her for more than a decade and had a child together. 

Cooper then quit her job to raise the couple's children, thinking Kelley would support the new family.

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But when Cooper found out that Kelley had cheated on her for at least the second time, she asked him to move out and sued him for fraud and a "breach of promise to marry."

As part of his defense, Kelley tried to claim his promise to marry couldn't be enforced partly because the nature of the couple's relationship was based based on an illegal pact. 

Kelley's defense essentially claimed their relationship was a form of prostitution, where Kelley was simply paying Cooper for sexual relations.

He also claimed in court that he never really intended to marry her, "I never initiated the concept of marriage with her, outside of giving her that ring" and "I never said the words 'will you marry me' to her."

A trial court ruled in Cooper's favor, awarding damages and attorneys' fees totaling $50,000. Kelley's appeal of that ruling was rejected by the appeals court in November.