Mutual promises to marry may be implied from the conduct of the parties.
A declaration of intention to marry another made to a third person will not constitute a promise unless communicated to the other person on the authority of the person making the declaration.
A conditional promise to marry may be sued upon when the condition has been fulfilled.
Previous confinement in a mental hospital does not render the agreement to marry void but supervening insanity will afford a defence.
The fact that the defendant honestly and reasonably believed the plaintiff to be unfit to marry is no defence if the plaintiff was in fact fit.
The Law Commission considered that the present law gives opportunity for claims of a gold-digging nature.
(This is the reason why legal aid was never made available for such actions.) The Commission also referred to the argument that the stability of marriages is so important to society that the law should not countenance rights of action the threat of which may push people into marriages which they would not otherwise undertake.
A promise by a married man or woman to marry another person is actionable where the plaintiff had no knowledge of the defendant's married state.
Where, however, the other person is aware of the defendant's position, a promise by the defendant to marry that person after the death of his or her spouse will be unenforceable on the grounds of public policy.
Physical or mental incapacity may give rise to a right to terminate the engagement in limited circumstances.
No disease or infirmity short of absolute incapacity on the part of the defendant will avail him or her, however, even if it is proved that the performance of marital duties would endanger his or her life.
THE LAW RELATING TO BREACH OF PROMISE OF MARRIAGE There can be no action for breach of promise unless a contract to marry has been made.