If my wife’s parents paid for wedding, can they ask me for a refund if we get divorced?

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If my wife’s parents paid for wedding, can they ask me for a refund if we get divorced?

My fiance and I moved in together roughly 4 months prior to our wedding. I had been having serious doubts about if we can truly live together. The wedding was about a month ago and I am honestly and truly knowing I can’t do this; she has some mental disorder issues anorexia/depression/etc. that make it impossible to actually live with her. Her parents paid for our wedding as a gift,  about $20,000 and now that divorce/separation is brought up she said that her mother will be requiring me to pay the money back to her. Is there any legal recourse on her part? Can she actually do this?

Asked on November 23, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you are in a situation where you have concerns about whether or not you should go ahead with the planned wedding, you should seriously listen to your gut instinct about the situation.

As far as your future wife's parents asking you to repay them for the costs of the wedding if you marry your fiance' and end up getting divorced is simply a request and they would have no legal basis to sue you for the $20,000 wedding gift cost of the wedding. Under the laws of all states in this country, once a gift is made, the gift belongs to the person who received it.

You are aware that it takes two to get married and two to go through with the ultimate decision to get divorced in the end.


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