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When the spirit of a contract isn't fulfilled, seek legal help

In every contract, there's the cold, hard words on the paper that fulfill the legal technicalities -- but there's also the spirit of the contract that's often between the lines.

The parties involved generally have an obligation to meet both, especially when the expectations are reasonable given the nature of the contract.

For example, look at the contract dispute between a home shopping network host and her matchmaker. The wealthy and famous sometimes turn to matchmakers to help them find love the same way those with less resources might look to Tinder.

The big difference is that a matchmaker is expected to provide suitable matches for their clients -- potential paramours who fit not only the client's basic parameters of what he or she would like to see in a mate but also to make sure that they aren't besieged by a golddiggers or other drastic mismatches. All potential suitors are supposed to be screened.

Instead, the hapless host found herself on a series of dates with some real ringers:

  • Men with serious physical ailments, including one who passed out on their date due to a heart condition
  • Married men, including one who was hoping his current wife would hurry up and die from her terminal illness so he could freely move on
  • Men with criminal records or similar issues, including a disbarred judge

The host said that she found herself set up on dates with people that couldn't possibly have been screened. Some were simply creepy stalkers, while others suffered active mental disorders or were clearly jockeying for position as her boy-toy, not a long-term partner.

Ultimately, after several years of disappointment, the host sued the matchmaker for breach of contract -- not because she didn't find a mate, but because the potential mates presented to her were entirely unsuitable and in no way met her criteria. The matchmaker's services were simply inadequate.

The matchmaker quickly settled out of court when confronted with a potential lawsuit -- which at least gives this case a happy ending, even if the television show host is still looking for love.

If you feel that you've been victimized by someone whose interpretation of your contract is less than valid, talk to an attorney today. You have a right to get what you expect out of a deal -- and anything less is unacceptable and deceptive business practices.

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