Merritt v Merritt: CA 1970

H and W owned their house jointly. When H left for another woman, he signed an agreement to pay Mrs Merritt a monthly sum, and eventually to transfer the house to her if Mrs M kept up the monthly mortgage payments. When the mortgage was paid off Mr Merritt refused to transfer the house. Mrs Merritt asked the court to enforce the agreement.
Held: H’s appeal failed, and specific performance granted. The usual presumption against an agreement within a marriage being legally enforceable did not apply in this case since the parties were separated. This was more than a domestic arrangement.
Stamp J
[1970] 2 All ER 760, [1970] 1 WLR 1211
England and Wales
DistinguishedBalfour v Balfour CA 1919
Mr Balfour had set out in an apparently formal legal way, an agreement to give his wife pounds 30 a month by way of maintenance while he was away in Ceylon. Mrs Balfour sought to enforce the agreement.
Held: Within a family there is a . .
CitedJones v Padavatton CA 29-Nov-1968
A mother had persuaded her daughter to come to England to study for the Bar, promising to allow her to stay in her house Several years later, the daughter had still not passed any Bar examinations. They fell out, and the mother sought possession of . .

Cited by:
CitedSoulsbury v Soulsbury CA 10-Oct-2007
The claimant was the first wife of the deceased. She said that the deceased had promised her a substantial cash sum in his will in return for not pursuing him for arrears of maintenance. The will made no such provision, and she sought payment from . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 30 December 2020; Ref: scu.251173