Home LAWYERING DIVORCE LAWYERS & LAW TOPICS 50 Cents-Shoniqua Thompson appeal: will he have to pay her the $50...

50 Cents-Shoniqua Thompson appeal: will he have to pay her the $50 million?

This case is all about the enforceability of express contracts in a domestic partnership scenario. As we wrote here http://www.divorcesaloon.com/new-york-divorce-attorney-on-domestic-parnterships contracts can be express or implied in a situation where two people are unmarried, live together, have kids and otherwise pool their resources.

But at issue in the 50 Cents palimony suit was whether a promise he made nearly two decades ago to “take care of her for the rest of her life” was enforceable. I argued here http://www.divorcesaloon.com/50-cents-lawsuit-thrown-out-no-50-million-alimony-for-shaniqua-thompkins that first of all, I think the statute of limitations have run on any breach in that case. But the more troubling part for me was the “vagueness” of the contract and promise. What was the “consideration” he got for his alleged promise? I mean, they do have a child together and that is a good start to say they functioned as a family unit. But did they hold themselves out to their community as “spouses?” Was there a specific amount he promised to pay her? What were the services she promised to exchange for his taking care of her? I imagine she will say she did housework and other “wifely” duties (even though they never married) but she still can’t win this if there was no express contract or promise that is “clear” and “specific” as opposed to “vague.”

If  Shoniqua was in California, she might have won on the “implied contract” theory. But New York has specifically declined to recognize implied contracts in this context. And any express contract has to be clear and specific and there has to be consideration.

As I said in the earlier post, I think her claims are time barred. And from what I’ve heard of the case, I don’t think an express contract that is enforceable exists here. But the Court of Appeals may disagree. The case is supposed to be appealed according to Ms. Thompson’s attorney.

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