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Refunding Shadchanus Money

My son was engaged to a girl who we found out during the engagement period has serious psychological issues (depression, anxiety, panic attacks and most probably an eating disorder)and is being medicated. After consulting with a frum psychologist and rabbanim he broke the shidduch (wedding was planned for lag bomer he broke the engagement after purim). It also came out after the breakup (when people felt comfortable speaking up?) that her mother and brother also suffer from all sorts of emotional issues and are medicated. The shaddchanit was a very pushy manipulative woman who would call my son constantly (she approached him first until he asked her to please be in touch with his mother yet she continued to call him and push him and before we knew it he was engaged (my son in laws, my daughters and I all tried telling him she was not an honest broker but he fell for the shadchanit as much as the kallah much to our disbelief! This shadchanit is a first cousin of the kallah’s father and it seems she fixed her up previously and there was a broken engagement there too! I paid this woman $1,500 in shadchunus gelt and truthfully I believe she should be refunding my money. I will eventually be paying an honest shadchan money for his engagement to his true zivug. What is the halacha in this case? Do I have the right to demand the money back? Thank You


The way you are describing the situation it seems the entire shidduch was a מקח טעות, a faulty invalid deal. If that is the case, the shidduch was never really a shidduch and the shadchan would have to return the money. Hiding serious issues such as suffering from substantial psychological issues and being medicated are definitely grounds to claim מקח טעות. However without hearing both sides of the story a conclusive ruling can’t be issued, as perhaps the shadchan has a different version of the story. You certainly have the right to ask for your money back, if she refuses you should agree on a Rav to sit with and hear both sides to issue a ruling.

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