I am not going to be able to give you a definitive answer to this
but I am only going to be able to tell you how the court will look at it.
The first thing is that the items that were given to you both are
gifts unless they are the kind of thing which he would have had an interest in
had you all got together. In that respect, it is necessary to look at the items
to see whether they would have been shared in the future or not. That would of
course depend on whether they were given in anticipation of the forthcoming
relationship with you all
with regard to the money, the court will decide whether this was
an arrangement between friends or arrangement intended to create legal relations.
The fact that the money was paid over a protracted period of time
point to it being a gift. The fact that you have no outstanding debts or bills
at the time the money was paid and that the money was used to spend on things
that you would not ordinarily have spent money on, also assist you.
It is not usual to lend someone money unless they actually need
The fact that he said that this was money for you all to use does
not assist you at all. Nor does the fact that at one stage he asked for some
back to buy a car. That points to either it being a loan or it being a money
for you all to use.
If it is indeed money for you all to use, then there is an
argument that he is only entitled to one third of it back and it might be an
idea to offer in that amount on that basis. If you can do that, I can tell you
how to word it in the letter to him so that he does not take that money and
come back and ask you for the rest.
Ultimately, it may be that he is simply a spurned lover and the
items and the money were indeed given as gifts but, in the fullness of time,
when the relationship did not emerge, he has changed his mind. The court will consider a spurned lover angle.
I probably have more experience of this than anyone else quite
simply because I have been on the receiving end of a claim where I actually
lent money to an ex-partner (a long time ago) which was money to buy a car. She
was adamant that she did not want a gift although at the time, I would be happy
to gift it. I can tell you the amount, it was £375 in 1975. What was fatal to
her defence that the money I gave to her was a gift was the fact that she
signed a standing order giving me £25 per month back and paid it for four
months before cancelling it (on the instructions of her new boyfriend who she
had dumped me for and gone off with). After a lot of arguing, we ended up in
the local County Court and she lost although if you read all the newspaper
reports (this one made the dailies!) although it was a victory in court for me,
the newspaper reports did not read the same way! And so, moving swiftly on...
Ultimately, if he decides to pursue you for the money, and the
items, you have no option but to defend his claim. You can try to head him off
at the pass (as the saying goes) by making him an offer now and if you are
minded to do that, I can, as I said, advise you how to do it.
If it does end up in court, the court will simply look at all the
fact and make a decision.
As I said earlier, I cannot give you a definitive answer to this
but I can only tell you how the court looks at it.
Does that answer the question? Can I assist further or answer any
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