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Merritt v Merritt [1970] 1 WLR 1211 Court of Appeal

A husband left his wife and went to live with another woman. There was £180 left owing on the house which was jointly owned by the couple. The husband signed an agreement whereby he would pay the wife £40 per month to enable her to meet the mortgage payments and if she paid all the charges in connection with the mortgage until it was paid off he would transfer his share of the house to her. When the mortgage was fully paid she brought an action for a declaration that the house belonged to her.


The agreement was binding. The Court of Appeal distinguished the case of Balfour v Balfour on the grounds that the parties were separated. Where spouses have separated it is generally considered that they do intend to be bound by their agreements. The written agreement signed was further evidence of an intention to be bound.
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