Law School Case Brief
Williams v. Ormsby - 944 N.E.2d 699
Moving into a home with another and resuming a relationship constituted sufficient consideration to support a contract.
Appellee property owner and appellant, his ex-fiance, filed suit against each other in two separate actions concerning the ownership of a home in Medina, Ohio. The ex-fiance contended that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the owner by finding that there was no consideration for the agreement entered into by the parties in June 2005, whereby the parties agreed to be equal partners in the property and included, among other things, a provision for disposition of the property in the event that their relationship ended. The court found that since the ex-fiance refused to move back in with the owner or resume their relationship unless she had an undivided one-half interest in the real property, under the facts of the case, moving into a home with another and resuming a relationship could constitute consideration sufficient to support a contract. By resuming the relationship, the ex-fiance agreed to undertake a way of life which entailed among other things providing companionship, and fulfilling each other's needs, financial, emotional, physical, and social, as best as she was able, as well as foregoing other romantic possibilities. Those were not ordinary services susceptible to valuation. Thus, the services constituted consideration for the parties' June 2005 contract.
Is moving into someone’s home and resuming a relationship sufficient consideration to support a contract?
Yes, resuming a nonmarital relationship is valid consideration.
Appellee, although he attempted to do otherwise, directed the court to appellant's testimony establishing consideration in that she shared her assets with him and resumed living together as a couple. By resuming the relationship, appellant agreed to undertake a way of life which entailed among other things "providing companionship, and fulfilling each other's needs, financial, emotional, physical, and social, as best as [she was] able," as well as foregoing other romantic possibilities. These are not "ordinary services" susceptible to valuation. Thus, the services would constitute consideration for a contract to make a will.
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