Family Law Hub

AD v BD [2020] EWHC 857 (Fam)

The wife's application for financial remedy orders following the breakdown of the marriage to the husband. Both came from wealthy families. They had married in 2010, after signing a pre-nuptial document regarding the "Separation de Biens". A religious ceremony took place in April and a legal ceremony in July. The parties had lived in London since 2015. Cohen J did not accord weight to the pre-nuptial agreement: it had not been the subject of discussion between the parties, it had been presented to the wife on the day before the wedding, she had had no chance to consider its contents, she was unfamiliar with the concept of choosing a marital regime, and she had no understanding of the implications of the agreement. Cohen J went on to deem 40% of the matrimonial home to be a matrimonial asset. When this was aggregated with the $8m found to have been received by the husband during the marriage for his work within the family business, it amounted to a matrimonial acquest of £7.9m, and a half share would thus provide the wife with just under £4m. The home would be transferred to the wife. Orders for periodical payments and child periodical payments were also made. Finally, Cohen J noted the parties had spent a "deeply regrettable" and "disastrously high" amount of money on costs, and that there had been repeated breaches of the Statement on the Efficient Conduct of Financial Remedy Hearings in the High Court. He suggested that the sanctions available to the court at paragraph 18 of the Statement should not be overlooked.

Judgment, published: 06/06/2020

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Published: 06/06/2020

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