However, Sadler/Reynolds (2005) suggests that there may be situations that fall into a kind of “half-house” between housing and commercial enterprises, which undermines the burden of the presumption. In this case, there was an alleged contract between a journalist and a businessman who was a friend. The journalist wanted to write the businessman`s autobiography “rags to rich” and share the profits. Instead, the businessman chose another author. The judge suggested that the oral agreement fell “somewhere between a patently commercial case and a social exchange.” It is necessary to prove to the journalist that there is an intention to establish legal relations “although the obligation is less onerous than that which would be necessary to establish such an intention in the context of a purely social relationship”. However, where there is a clear contractual liability, the presumption is rebutted. In Merritt/Merritt, a separation agreement between insane spouses was enforceable. At Beswick v. Beswick, an uncle`s agreement to sell a coal delivery to his nephew was enforceable. Even at Errington v. Errington, a father`s promise to his son and daughter-in-law to live in a house (and ultimately own) if they had paid the rest of the mortgage was a one-sided contract enforceable.
In Balfour v Balfour (1919), an agreement was reached between a man and a woman, which resulted from their inability (due to illness) to return with him to his work in Ceylon. He agreed to pay her $30 a month while they were separated. The marriage broke down later and the woman sued the man for non-payment of promised payments. In assessing each case, the courts applied certain presumptions to different types of contracts; As a result, it was generally considered that national or social contracts had not been entered into with the intention of establishing legal relationships and it was considered that the trade agreements had such an intention. However, the High Court of Australia recently indicated that conjecture in determining intent should not be taken into account – in any event, the intent must be demonstrated without the assistance of such presumptions.
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