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What The Law Says About Promising To Marry A Person And Jilting Them

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A contract is an agreement to enter into a legally binding relationship with a person. Marriage under statutory law is viewed as a legally binding relationship in which certain obligations are expected from each of the parties.

Under the Nigerian law, where a person promises marriage to another and fails to fulfill that promise, it is referred to as a breach of promise to marry. Where a party can sufficiently prove to the court that there was an initial agreement to enter into a marriage which was later broken, then the injured party can file a civil suit

However, before a person can bring a civil action in court against a lover who jilted them, certain elements are required to be proved to the court. They are:

1. That there was a promise to marry in the first place:

A promise to marry is expected to go beyond spoken words and mere talks about the future. The best way to prove this is through a proposal either by a ring worn on the finger or acceptance of a marriage proposal

2. The party sued to court must have broken the promise:

It must be proved to the satisfaction of the court that the same party who promised a marriage proposal broke the promise and refused to follow it to the letter. In a case where such party merely postponed the marriage, the civil suit will not stand.

Where the injured party claiming to be jilted can prove the above in the court of law, then he or she can sue for damages. The court will consider the facts of the case and where necessary, may order that the party who jilted the other party pay compensation for the loss suffered.

Compensation may be claimed for financial loss incurred as a result of the broken promise, or for injury caused to the aggrieved party or their reputation.

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