What to do if my ex paid my tuition twice as a gift while we were together but now he wants repayment?

UPDATED: May 15, 2012

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What to do if my ex paid my tuition twice as a gift while we were together but now he wants repayment?

It was for $2,500 total. He told me it was a gift but we’ve broken up (nearly a year ago) and now he is threatening to take me to small claims if I do not repay him. There are receipts as he paid with a credit card but I have no way to prove that it was a gift and he has no way to prove it was a loan. What am I looking at here?

Asked on May 15, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Washington


Kenneth Berger / Kenneth A. Berger, Attorney at Law

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This looks alot like the typical "he said, she said" that is so common in domestic disputes.

A couple of suggestions.  Consider a compromise with your ex.  The amount is relatively small, and you don't seem to dispute that you got some benefit from the money, gift or not.

Next, gifts generally take 1) donative intent, and 2) delivery.  It is the intent that you want to prove.  Consider if any other persons heard him talking about why he gave you the tuition money.  Also look very carefully at all of the emails or posts between you two at the time to see if any of them relate to the gift.

Finally, if he is intent on pursuing the matter, you may want to let him take you to court.  Usually, he, as the plaintiff, will carry the "burden of proof" on showing that is was really a loan.

As always, my comments are only applicable to Washington State and are not a substitute for getting competent, local, and more comprehensive, legal help.


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