• In the case of Jones v Padavatton 1969 1 WLR 325, it was held that in family cases, there is a presumption against the intention to create legal relations in contract law.

Facts of the Case

  • A mother had offered and promised to provider her daughter with a house and money from the rent while she was studying.
  • The daughter did not pass the bar whish she was studding for after 6 years and as a result, the mother sought possession of the house.

Issues in Jones v Padavatton 1969 1 WLR 325

  • Did a valid contract exist allowing the daughter possession of the house?

Held by Court of Appeal

  • Mother entitled to possession.


  • Here it was held that the arrangement was only a family affair and therefore not enforceable.
  • It would take considerable evidence to rebut the presumption to and create legal relations in the domestic/family context.

Fenton Atkinson

  • “At the time when the first arrangement was made, mother and daughter were, and always had been, to use the daughter’s own words, ” very close.” I am satisfied that neither party at that time intended to enter into a legally binding contract, either then or later when the house was bought. The daughter was prepared to trust her mother to honour her promise of support, just as the mother no doubt trusted her daughter to study for the F Bar with diligence, and to get through her examinations as early as she could. It follows that in my view the mother’s claim for possession succeeds, and her appeal should be allowed.” Pg. 337