Merritt v Merritt

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Merritt v Merritt
St Mary's Church Chessington - - 1735432.jpg
St Mary's Church, Chessington
Court Court of Appeal
Decided 27 April 1970
Citation(s) [1970] EWCA Civ 6, [1970] 1 WLR 1211
Creating legal relations, enforceability

Merritt v Merritt [1970] EWCA Civ 6 is an English contract law case, on the matter of creating legal relations. While under the principles laid out in Balfour v Balfour, domestic agreements between spouses are rarely legally enforceable, this principle was rebutted where two spouses who formed an agreement over their matrimonial home were not on good terms.


Mr. Merritt and his wife jointly owned a house. Mr. Merritt left to live with another woman. They made an agreement (signed) that Mr. Merritt would pay Mrs. Merritt a £40 monthly sum, and eventually transfer the house to her, if Mrs. Merritt kept up the monthly mortgage payments. When the mortgage was paid Mr. Merritt refused to transfer the house.


The Court of Appeal held that nature of the dealings, and the fact that the Merritts were separated when they signed their contract, allowed the court to assume that their agreement was more than a domestic arrangement. Lord Denning MR stated:

Widgery LJ and Karminski LJ concurred.

See also[edit]