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Harris v Goddard [1983]

Facts

  • A marriage broke down and the wife gave notice (a prayer of petition) that she wanted the matrimonial property to be adjusted
  • The husband shortly after died, and the husband’s estate claimed that the joint tenancy had been severed such that it had not become fully vested in the wife

Issue

  • Could a prayer of peition sever a joint tenancy?

Decision

  • No

Reasoning

  • It had no immediate effect, as required by s 36(2) of the Law of Property Act 1925; it merely put parties on notice that action would be taken in the future
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