Case summary of Balfour v Balfour [] 2 KB relating to intention to create legal relations in contract law. 2 K. B.. KING’S BENCH DIVISION. [IN TBE COURT OF Al’l’EAL.] BALFOUR v. however on the doctor’s advice remained in England. On. c. A. Balfour v. Balfour [] 2 KB (Consideration-Intention to create legal relations) Facts: A husband was employed in Ceylon. He returned.

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I think the onus was upon the plaintiff, and the plaintiff has not established any contract. The husband has a right to withdraw the authority from his wife to pledge his credit. Warrington, concurring in the result, agreed substantially with Atkin, but added that there was no bargain of any kind made by Mrs.

Balfour v. Balfour [1919] 2 KB 571

Then Duke LJ gave his. Next Post Wood v. To my mind those agreements, or many of them, balfokr not result in contracts at all, and they do not result in contracts even though there may be what as between other parties would constitute consideration for the agreement.

Her doctor advised her to stay in England, because the Ceylon climate would be detrimental to her health. He failed to make the payment and she sued him. Agreements such as these are outside the realm of contracts altogether. It would mean this, that when the husband makes his wife a promise to give her an allowance of 30s.

Therefore, consideration for the promise by the husband to pay the allowance was that Mrs. The parties themselves are advocates, judges, Courts, sheriff’s officer and reporter. It is quite common, and it is the natural and inevitable result of the relationship of husband and wife, that the two spouses should make arrangements between themselves – agreements such as are in dispute in this action – agreements for allowances, by which the husband agrees that he will pay to his wife a certain sum of money, per week, or per month, or per year, to cover either her own expenses or the necessary expenses of the household and of the children of the marriage, and in which the wife promises either expressly or impliedly to apply the allowance for the purpose for which it is given.


Causes of action; Intention to create legal relations; Maintenance; Marriage; Oral contracts.

Arrangements made between husbands and wives are not generally contracts as the parties do not intend bakfour be legally balflur by the agreements. Contents [ show ]. All I can say is that there is no such contract here. Balfour and his wife went to England for a vacation, and his wife became ill and needed medical attention. Both cases are often quoted examples of the principle of precedent.

The suggestion is that the husband bound himself to pay 30l.

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The parties were living together, the wife intending to return. Views Read Edit View history. In the Court below the plaintiff conceded that down to the time of her suing in the Divorce Division there was no separation, and that the period of absence was a period of absence as between husband and wife living in amity.

In consideration that you will agree to give me 30l. Bills of Exchange Act s 3 1. I think that the parol evidence upon which the case turns does not establish a contract. Warrington LJ delivered his opinion first, balfoir core part being this passage.

In respect of these promises each house is a domain into which the King’s writ does not seek to run, and to which his officers do not seek to be admitted. But in this case there was no separation agreement at all. Consumer Credit Act ss 60, You are commenting using your Facebook account. Balfour v Balfour [] 2 KB You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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The defence to this action on the alleged contract is that the defendant, ib husband, entered into no contract with his wife, and for the determination of that it is necessary to remember that there are agreements between parties which do not result in contracts within the meaning of that term in our law. I think that the letters do not evidence such a contract, or amplify the oral evidence which was given by the wife, which is not in dispute.

As there was no intent to be legally bound when the agreement was agreed upon, there can be no legally binding contract.


Atkin holds that if the courts were to allow all wives to come to court when agreements had been broken with their husbands then the courts would be overrun with frivolous cases. Law of Property Miscellaneous Provisions Act s 2 1. In case of social engagements and family arrangements, there is a strong presumption that parties therein have no intention to enter into legally enforceable contract.

Atkin held that the law of contracts is not made for personal family relationships. The formula which was stated in this case to support the claim of the lady was this: The considerationas we know, may consist either in some right, interest, profit or benefit accruing to one party, or some forbearance, detriment, loss or responsibility given, suffered or undertaken by the other.

These two people never intended to make a bargain which could be enforced in law. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: All I can say is that the small Courts of this country would have to be multiplied one hundredfold if these arrangements were held to result in legal obligations.

In order to establish a contract there ought to be something more than mere mutual promises having regard to the domestic relations of the parties.

The consideration that really obtains for them is that natural love and affection which counts for so little in these cold Courts. If a reasonable person in the position of offree would consider that the offer made by the offeror was intended to create legal relations, then offeror will be so bound by contract subject to fulfilment of other requirements. Parker v Clark [] 1 WLR That is in my opinion sufficient to dispose of the case.

That is a well-known definition, and it constantly happens, I think, that such arrangements made between husband and wife are arrangements in which there are mutual promises, or in which there is consideration in form within the definition that I have mentioned. Sign In Don’t have an account?