Mr. Balfour was a civil engineer and worked for the government as director of irrigation in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Mrs. Balfour lived with him. In 1915, they both returned to England during Mr. Balfour`s vacation. But Ms. Balfour had developed rheumatoid arthritis. His doctor advised him to stay in England because Ceylon`s climate would harm his health. Mr. Balfour`s boat was about to sail, and he orally promised her $30 a month until she returned to Ceylon.
They separated and Mr. Balfour wrote that it was better for them to stay separate. In March 1918, Ms. Balfour sued him for the monthly payments of $30. In July, she received a decree nisi and in December she received an order of omission. These cases show that oral consent is legally applicable, but proof of such an agreement is a huge task. A written agreement is itself proof that there has been agreement, but an oral agreement is only an oral communication of proposals and acceptance, which will be difficult to prove in the future in the event of a dispute. The burden of proof rests entirely with the person who asserted the right to prove the existence of an oral agreement. Such an oral agreement can be proved either by the registration of such an agreement at the time of the innition, or by a witness with whom such an agreement took place. The defence of this action against the alleged contract is that the defendant, the husband, did not enter into a contract with his wife and, for the finding, it should be remembered that there are agreements between parties that do not result in contracts within the meaning of that clause in our law. The ordinary example is where two parties agree to take a walk together, or where there is an offer and acceptance of hospitality.
No one would claim, under normal circumstances, that these agreements lead to what we know as a treaty, and one of the most common forms of agreement, which is not a treaty, seems to me to be the agreement between a man and a woman. It is quite common, and this is the natural and inevitable result of the relationship between man and woman, that the two spouses should enter into agreements between them – agreements that are controversial in this action – allowance agreements by which the husband agrees to pay his wife a certain amount of money, per week or month. , either per year, or to cover her own expenses, or to cover the necessary expenses of the household and children of the marriage, during which the woman promises, either expressly or implicitly, to apply the aid for the purposes for which it is granted. In my view, many of them do not end up in contracts at all, and they do not lead to contracts, although there may be what, like other parties, would be a counterpart to the agreement. The consideration may consist, as we know, of either a right, interest, profit or benefit that belongs to one party, or in a certain leniency, inconvenience, loss or liability given, incurred or assumed to the other party. This is a well-known definition and I think that these agreements between men and women are agreements in which there are mutual promises or in which there is a formal reflection in the definition I mentioned.