Balfour v Balfour, Facts, Issue, Desision, Ratio

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This case is concerned with intention to create legal relations in contract law

Facts of balfour v balfour

A husband and his wife lived overseas. And due to health problems the wife cannot stay there anymore. So the husband send the wife to the home and made her a promise that I will send monthly payments of 30 dollars. As the wife relied on it and came back.

As the relationship between them remained good for a couple of months but after that they were separated and the husband stopped sending payments


The wife wanted to enforce this promise as contract on the husband.


It was held that it was just a domestic promise and no contract was made. So the husband was not legally bound to send her money

Lord atkin said that if we consider this promise as a contract it will open floodgates of litigation.

Key point and Ratio of case

There are no legal bindings between spouses.

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