If You’re Going to Marry for Real Estate, Get an Appraisal

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Tim Boyle/Staff

In the annals of reasons to end a marriage, this one is a corker. An Australian man tried to have his marriage annulled because his new bride’s house was worth less than she said it was.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the couple had been married just five months before separating. The man, who was not named, claimed his wife had led him to believe that she owned a house worth AUD$200,000 (about USD$197,000). In fact, it was only worth $140,000 and she still owed $120,000 on it. So the man sought an annulment on grounds of fraud. (More on Another Reason Not to Get Divorced: Bloggers Bare All)

But Justice James Barry threw the case out, saying the man had consented to the marriage, and that fraud applies to the ceremony itself not to ”the obtaining of the consent to marriage by various representations or inducements.” In other words, however shady the events may have been that led to your consenting to marry a person, once you’ve capably consented, you’re stuck. The judge could have also pointed out that the man didn’t seem to understand either the fundamentals of how marriage or property investment worked, but perhaps he didn’t want to pile on.

Now the young couple have to get divorced, like regular folk, or try to live together until housing prices rise again and maybe fall in love despite their seemingly insurmountable differences, like the characters in almost every romantic comedy released this year.

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