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Goodman v Gallant [1986] Fam 106 Court of Appeal
The claimant, Mrs Goodman, had a 50% beneficial interest in the matrimonial home. Her husband held the legal title. He left the home and five years later Mrs Goodman developed a relationship with the defendant Mr Gallant who moved into the house. Two years later they entered negotiations to purchase Mr Goodman's half share in the house. No formal valuation was undertaken but it was estimated the house was worth £17-18,000. Mr Goodman agreed to convey the property to them for £6,700. The purchasers' declaration of trust stated that they held the property as joint tenants. Mrs Goodman later gave notice to sever the joint tenancy. She later sought to argue that she held 75% of the beneficial interest based on the fact that she already owned 50% of the beneficial interest and contributed to the purchase of the remainder.
Mrs Goodman was only entitled to 50% of the beneficial ownership. In the absence of fraud or mistake, the declaration of trust was conclusive as to the parties respective ownership rights. The extent of the parties relative contributions was irrelevant.
Back to lecture outline on Express trusts or co-ownership in Land Law