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Ward v Byham [1956] 1 WLR 496 Court of Appeal

An unmarried couple had a child together and lived together for five years. The father then turned the mother out of the house and sent the child to live with a neighbour and the father paid the neighbour £1 per week. The mother then got a job as a live in house keeper and wished to have the daughter live with her. The father agreed to allow the daughter live with the mother and agreed to pay her £1 per week provided she ensured the child was well looked after and happy. The father made payments but then when the mother remarried he stopped making payments. The mother brought an action to enforce the agreement. The father argued that the Mother was under an existing legal duty to look after and maintain the child and therefore was not providing any consideration for the promise to make payment.

Held:

By promising to ensure the child was well looked after and happy she had gone beyond her existing legal duty and therefore had provided consideration. She was entitled to the payment.
 
Back to lecture outline on consideration in contract law