Can I Be Sued For Breaking Off An Engagement?

We Have Simple Answers For You!

Although there are no formal requirements for you to enter into a valid engagement, there is a question whether you can be sued for breaking up an engagement. In the past, the aggrieved person could claim for breach of promise under the common law.

However, the law is always changing.

In the South African case Van Jaarsveld v Bridges (click here for the full case)   the court dismissed a woman’s claims for damages. The Court held that the law relating engagements is outdated.This decision was confirmed in Cloete v Maritz (click here for the full case).

However, you can still be sued by your former fiance or fiancee for actual expenses that he or she incurred in the process of preparing for the wedding such as venue hire, decor etc.

You may break off an engagement without any financial consequence if there is a just cause such as your partner being unfaithful.

We hope this has been as useful as it is simple.


The information contained on at providing you with guidance on the South African law. We have ensured that this information is accurate, however, the law is constantly being changed. Although we have tried to keep this information accurate, we cannot guarantee that there are no omissions or errors. Therefore, will not , under any circumstance accept liability for or be held liable for consequences resulting from the use or inability to use the information by the reader or negligence by us in relation to the information used. Every person has unique circumstances and this information has not been provided to meet individual requirements.

The Rights to the images used on and its social media belong to their respective owners. Please contact us for any queries in this regard.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s