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  1. #1
    mg7630 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    detrimental reliance?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? New York

    I told my husband that I planned to file for divorce and move out of state with our child. He made no protest, so I hired a lawyer to draft an uncontested divorce. I sent him the terms for hiring the lawyer (which stated that she was only hired to file an uncontested divorce), and a list of the terms the lawyer would include in the divorce stipulation. He proceeded to send me his documentation as needed (paystubs, annuity statement, etc) for the next 3 weeks, while the lawyer drafted the agreement. He never hired a lawyer or communicated any problem with the plans. I set a moving date, and gave notice at my job in anticipation of the completion of the agreement. He was aware of all of it. I gave him the phone number of the attorney in case he had questions about the terms. I sent him the completed papers and awaited their return.

    Without any communication or warning, 4 weeks after the process began, he hired a lawyer who requested an immediate removal of our child saying I planned to kidnap her and that he never agreed to any of the terms in the divorce agreement.

    There was no "contract" but there was certainly an understanding in place. I have emails where he acknowledges the moving date and quitting my job and the plans. Do you think it would stand up in court as detrimental reliance? I would like to have him pay the attorney fees I incurred up to that point, since he made me waste 4 weeks of planning for nothing.

  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    Q: Do you think it would stand up in court as detrimental reliance?

    A: Based SOLELY on your post: No, not in the lawsuit you intend to file.

    Detrimental reliance is a term commonly used to force another to perform their obligations under a contract, using the theory of promissory estoppel. Promissory estoppel may apply when the following elements are proven:

    * A promise was made
    * Relying on the promise was reasonable or foreseeable
    * There was actual and reasonable reliance on the promise
    * The reliance was detrimental
    * Injustice can only be prevented by enforcing the promise

    Detrimental reliance must be shown to involve reliance that is reasonable, which is a determination made on an individual case-by-case basis, taking all factors into consideration. Detrimental means that some type of harm is suffered.


    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.

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