Agreements between husband and wife
When a husband and wife who are living together as one household make an agreement, courts will assume that they do not intend to be legally bound, unless the agreement states otherwise. In the case of Balfour v Balfour (1919), the court held that the promise made by the husband to his wife was not intended to create legal relations as it was a family matter in which the courts had no place to interfere.
In Merit v Merit (1969), Lord Denning held that an agreement between a husband and wife being a family arrangement as stated in Balfour v Balfour was not valid where the parties had separated or were about to do so. This is because in circumstances of separation, the parties do not rely on honorable understandings but bargain keenly and it could be safely presumed that any agreement between them was intended to be legally binding.
Agreements between parent and child
Agreements of a domestic nature between parents and children are also presumed not to be intended to be binding, though this presumption can be rebutted. This was the position held by the court in Jones v Padavatton (1969) in which the court stated that the promise between a mother and the child was not an agreement intended to create legal relations but a family arrangement in which both parties who had been close at the time being happy to trust each other to keep the bargain.
Social agreements
The presumption that an agreement is not intended to be legally binding is also applied to social relationships between people who are not related. This position can be rebutted as was illustrated in the case of Simpkins v Pays (1955) and Peck v Lateu (1973).

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