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You be the judge.

Morton Oldtymer sank his lifetime savings into a house which he and his wife bought in her name. Soon after he retired, they became estranged. The wife ordered him out of her house. Desperately he sued to reclaim his savings.

"I put every cent I had into that house, believing we would live there happily ever after," he pleaded. "Now she wants to throw me in the street, penniless. She owes me at least what I put into the house."

"Morton's gift of part of the cost of the house does not obligate me to return his gift before I can get rid of him," his wife replied sourly. "A gift's a gift, isn't it?"

If you were the judge, would you make the wife repay her husband?

The husband won. The court ruled that he put the house in his wife's name as a gesture, not a gift. "It does not comport with reason," it said, "that one will denude himself of all his earnings during a long period of years without making some provision for old age."

Based upon a 1956 Arkansas decision.
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Author:Schorr, Jose
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Nov 1, 2002
Words:185
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