Lauren Serafin was ready to get married and had everything set for the wedding, from purchasing the dress for the event to booking the honeymoon trip to Bora Bora. But when Serafin’s fiancé, Robert Leighton, called off the engagement, she filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court demanding $62,814.71 in damages to compensate for the expenses she paid for a wedding that never happened.
Serafin, who is an attorney in Chicago, claimed that Leighton (also an attorney) was in “breach of promise” when he decided not to follow through with their wedding, which was set for August 2010, according to the Chicago Tribune. She said she had spent tens of thousands of dollars to prepare for the occasion, which included $5,000 for the wedding dress and $7,000 for the honeymoon.
"The defendant's conduct was extreme, intentional and outrageous," reads Serafin's lawsuit.
The suit also alleged that Leighton had sex with another woman when he went to Las Vegas, Nevada, to celebrate his bachelor party. Serafin was suspicious after she read the woman's text messages on his phone, although Leighton had initially denied that anything had happened at Vegas when she asked him about what he did during the trip.
However, Robert Leighton eventually admitted that he "hooked up" with the woman and expressed that he no longer wanted to get married to Lauren Serafin.
The unwillingness to carry out one's promise to marry creates a breach of promise to marry, unless there is a legally justified reason for why the promise was not performed. A wedding postponement, for instance, does not constitute as a breach unless it was not done for a good reason. However, a most states have abolished breach of marriage promise as a cause of action, according to FindLaw's LawBrain.
To learn more about your legal options when it comes to a broken engagement, meet with a family law attorney who can explain Illinois marriage laws and determine the appropriate legal remedy for your case.
- Speak To A Chicago Family Law Attorney (FindLaw)
- FindLaw Answers Answer of the Day: Breach of Promise to Marry (FindLaw's Greedy Associates)
- Jilted Chicago Bride Sues Groom, Claims 'Breach Of Promise' (FindLaw's Chicago Family Law Blog)
- What Happens to the Engagement Ring in a Broken Engagement? (FindLaw)