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Plaintiff's partition claim fails because it violates the statute of frauds

The trial court did not err by granting the defendant summary disposition on the plaintiff's claims seeking partition of, or one-half the value of, the home she claimed they built together because any agreement was barred by the statute of frauds. Even though the trial court may have unnecessarily focused on the nature of the parties' relationship, there was no dispute that there was no written agreement for the conveyance of any portion of the property or home to the plaintiff. The court also concluded that there was "no partial performance of an oral contract sufficient to remove" it from the statute of frauds. Services rendered during a meretricious relationship, such as help building a house, are presumed to be "gratuitous," and "contracts made in consideration of meretricious relationships are not enforceable." The court found no evidence of an "implied contract," and the plaintiff's claims based on "quantum meruit" and unjust enrichment also failed. "Based upon plaintiff's own testimony, there was no express agreement between her and defendant that if she contributed to the building of the home, she would be entitled to an ownership interest in it. There was no bargained-for exchange[,]" nor was there "any consideration separate and distinct from the parties' relationship." In the plaintiff's promissory estoppel claim, she argued that the "defendant made a promise to her that they would accumulate their assets together and contribute their labor to the construction of the home and that the home would be theirs together." However, she "identified no promise made on the part of defendant that the parties would, in fact remain together indefinitely and that the home would thus be theirs together, forever, or that if they parted ways, plaintiff would be entitled to a share in the home." Her claim to half ownership in the home based on "joint enterprise/joint venture" failed because there was "no allegation or evidence presented that the building of the home was for a profit." Affirmed.

Antenuptial agreement held to be valid and enforceable

The court held that the parties' antenuptial agreement was valid and enforceable, concluding that to invalidate it on the basis of one party's fault would contravene the agreement's clear and unambiguous language, and that as a matter of law, the...

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