Heart Balm Laws
What are "Heart Balm" Laws?
Long ago, a promise to marry someone acted just like any other binding contract. That meant that if a person did not follow through with their promise to marry another, they could be sued because they were in breach. Law suits over a broken promise to marry usually focused on three areas:
- The benefits to be had from the marriage,
- Any losses incurred from the broken promise to marry, or
- Injuries suffered as a result of the broken promise. Injuries like humiliation, anxiety, and depression were commonly compensated.
Many courts began to disfavor awarding another person for a broken promise to marry them. As a result, many states passed "Heart Balm" laws, which abolished the ability to sue for a breach of a promise to marry.
What States Have "Heart Balm" Laws?
Not all states have "Heart Balm" laws, but the following states do have laws that abolish the ability to sue for a breach of a promise to marry:
Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Do I Need an Attorney for my "Heart Balm" Law Issue?
If you think you are entitled to compensation because of a broken promise to marry, or are being sued over a broken promise to marry, it is highly recommended that you contact a family or divorce and annulment attorney. Only they will be able to explain the issue to you and help protect your rights.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 03-10-2011 11:41 AM PST
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