We were supposed to move in together, but I fell “out of love” before that happened. Can he sue me?

Okay, I got pregnant with my long lost “love” from high school. I already have 3 kids from a previous relationship. He wanted to be together, I tried to make myself want it. In the end, I realized I didn’t love him and I couldn’t be pregnant anymore. I am depressed and feel bad all the time. I considered adoption, but he said he would fight it. His mom wants the baby. So I decided abortion, so I can get a new job to support my kids. He didn’t like it. His mom wants to sue. Nothing to be done there. But he wants to since he quit his job and got rid of his dog to move in with me. Can he sue?

Asked on June 27, 2009 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Can he sue you - for what?  If you are talking about preventing your abortion I could fund no specific North Carolina statute regarding this.  You should consult with an attorney in your area, since I'm not licensed in the state perhaps they will know of a law of which I am unaware.

If you are referring to his sueing you because he quit his job, maybe.  Absent express agreement that he terminate his employment to move in with you in exchange for his taking care of your children or something along those lines, I don't think that he has any claim.  If there was such an agreement technically he might be able to sue but unless you have substantial assets, filing suit against you would more than likely not justify his time or expense.

Basically, I don't think that he attempt to pull you into court anytime soon. 

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I do not practice law in the state of North Carolina, here are my initial impressions of your situation.  First, when evaluating the merits of any potential civil claim, it is helpful to look at it from a financial perspective.  In other words, if he could demonstrate that you are liable for something, do you have recoverable assets that would justify his paying an attorney thousands of dollars to initiate and prosecute the lawsuit. If the answer is no (i.e., if you do not have assets or if he could not otherwise recover damages) then it is unlikely that a lawyer would take this case.

On the other hand, from a theoretical perspective he may have a case premised in breach of contract.  Even verbal contracts are theoretically enforceable if one party gives consideration (something in exchange for) something from the other party.  Therefore, if he promised to give up his job in exchange for your promise to do something else, he may theoretically have a case, even if would be unlikely for him to be able to institute it/recover on it, from a practical perspective.

In any event, if you feel that you may be liable in any respect, it is a good idea for you to consult with and/or retain an attorney to protect your interests arising out of this matter.


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