Family Law Hub

Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984

Statute, published: 31/12/1984

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Items referring to this

  • Mother's attempt to re-open findings of fact that found no evidence that the father and grandfather had abused her son, and an appeal against an order that the child was to live with the father with limited supervised contact with the mother. Judgment, 13/10/2017, free
  • Husband's application for financial provision after being divorced for 24 years failed. Judgment, 06/08/2018, free
  • Application by husband to set aside grant of leave for the wife to apply for financial remedies in the English courts while there are ongoing protracted proceedings in Slovenia (where they married). Application failed. Judgment, 21/01/2015, free
  • Application by the Husband to set aside a grant of leave under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 relating to the Wife's application for financial relief. Mr Justice Mostyn dismissed the application as the case came nowhere near to the threshold of the 'knock-out blow' referred to in Agbaje v Akinnoye-Agbaje and confirmed by the Court of Appeal in Traversa v Freddi. Judgment, 23/10/2014, free
  • An unsuccessful attempt by a husband (“H”) to strike out his wife’s (“W”) applications under the Married Women’s Property Act 1882 and Family Law Act 1996. He attempted to rely on W’s breach of an earlier order - that her reply to H’s points of defence had been filed late – two days late. He also argued that W had failed to file answers to a questionnaire. Holman J found that it was disproportionate and unjust to strike out the applications on this basis – in particular, W had not failed to supply answers to questionnaires as the court had not fixed any timetable within which the questionnaire should be answered. H’s application was dismissed and the timetable for all other matters was accelerated. Judgment, 30/09/2014, free
  • Judgment, 13/03/2013, free
  • In these financial remedy proceedings, a final order, apportioning ownership of various properties in England and in the country of origin of both parties to the marriage, which was the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), had been made in the Principal Registry of the Family Division. By express words within the judge's order, neither party was entitled to make any further application in relation to their marriage in this jurisdiction "or in any other jurisdiction". Here, the wife was seeking to appeal against a range of orders, including a) an anti-suit injunction restraining the wife from commencing or carrying on any proceedings in any jurisdiction, but in particular in TRNC, either in connection with her marriage to the husband or in connection with any property owned by him; and b) a stay on any attempt to enforce payment of the outstanding lump sum. Judgment, 18/03/2014, free
  • Application by wife for committal of husband for contempt of court after breach of two disclosure orders. Mostyn J granted the application, imposed a 9 month sentence and issued a European arrest warrant. Judgment, 10/11/2015, free
  • Appeal against an order dismissing the husband's application to strike out the wife's claim for financial relief pursuant to Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 ("the 1984 Act") on the basis that he was entitled to immunity as Permanent Representative of St Lucia to the International Maritime Organisation ("IMO"), a position to which he was appointed on 1 April 2014. The judge held that (i) He is not entitled in principle to immunity because he had not discharged any functions as a Permanent Representative and his appointment was an "artificial construct" designed to defeat the jurisdiction of the court; and (ii) in any event, he is not entitled to immunity because he was "permanently resident" in the UK and so, if he was in principle entitled to immunity, it was only in respect of official acts performed in the exercise of his functions. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 22/03/2016, free
  • Pension sharing used as a tool for enforcement Judgment, 27/07/2017, free
  • Wife's application for permission to apply for financial relief pursuant to Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Leave was granted but the main thrust of the judgment centred on which court was the most suitable to hear the case. Even though part 5 of The Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) Rules 2014 provides that non-consent applications should be heard by a judge of High Court Judge level, this was subject to 'the most effective and efficient use of local judicial resource and the resource of the High Court bench, given the nature and type of the proposed application' which in this case was very straightforward. The application was thus ordered to be issued in the family court at Stoke-on-Trent and allocated to a district judge for all further hearings. Judgment, 31/07/2014, free
  • High value financial remedy proceedings in which the wife wanted £29m and the husband proposed just over £8m. The final award, which was based on needs, was £8.8m. Judgment, 22/03/2016, free
  • Application by husband for interim order for sale of matrimonial home, in course of financial remedy proceedings. Judgment, 02/10/2015, free
  • Application for maintenance pending suit arising from a long marriage of over 40 years and involving considerations of habitual residence Judgment, 07/04/2014, free
  • Judgment, 24/05/2007, free
  • Judgment from the President concerning whether it was open for a wife to apply to set aside an order for reasons of non-disclosure or whether she was required to appeal as per FPR PD30A. He concludes that the relevant part of PD30A is ultra vires so the wife can proceed without court permission. Judgment, 17/04/2015, free
  • Judgment, 04/06/2012, free
  • In a factually complicated case, in which the mother (“M”) effectively only gave written submissions, Mostyn J concluded that while it would lead to inconsistent judgments in England and Poland, he should order the children be returned here Judgment, 19/01/2018, free
  • Financial remedy proceedings had concluded in 2004 with the wife agreeing to a clean break despite her suspicions that the husband had not made a full disclosure of his assets. In 2007 the husband was found guilty of money laundering on a huge scale and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. During the criminal trial the wife learnt that non-disclosure had indeed occurred and applied to have the 2004 order set aside. Mr Justice Moylan, at first instance, did set aside one paragraph of the order, saying that he was satisfied that the husband had failed to give full and frank disclosure of his true financial circumstances during the course of the substantive ancillary relief proceedings, and that his failure was of sufficient materiality to justify granting the wife's application for a rehearing of her claim for financial relief. He was also satisfied that the principles of Ladd v Marshall were established in this case. The husband appealed on the bases that included: 1) A judge at first instance has no jurisdiction to set aside an order granting substantive financial relief made by another judge of equivalent status at first instance; 2) In any event, the judge, sitting at first instance, had no jurisdiction to proceed (as he purported to do) on the basis of the principles set out in Ladd v Marshall (which authority sets out principles upon which an appellate court may admit fresh evidence); 3) If the judge did have jurisdiction to set aside the original order on the basis of material non-disclosure, he could only properly exercise that jurisdiction once it had been proved that material non-disclosure had occurred. The appeal was allowed. Judgment, 13/03/2014, free
  • Applications arising from order requiring the father to pay a lump sum to the mother, under Schedule 1 CA 1989 Judgment, 04/08/2017, free
  • Appeal against committal orders in relation to breach of an undertaking and 2 other orders after the court found that the husband had not disclosed certain documents in this long running financial provision case. The appeals were dismissed apart from the one in relation to the breach of the undertaking. Judgment, 11/05/2018, free
  • A financial provision case in which the parties were of Iraqi origin. The judge had to determine a myriad of factual issues, of which the principal was the nature, extent and location of the financial resources, in circumstances where the wife alleged grave non-disclosure by the husband. The single most prominent question was whether the husband had any (and, to the extent possible, what) reckonable capital assets and income in Iraq. The wife alleged capital assets in Iraq worth several million dollars and income which annualised at a level of several hundred thousand dollars per annum, whereas the husband said that, to all intents and purposes, there were no Iraqi financial resources, whether by way of capital or income. His attention was thus trained upon the UK assets, which according to him should be shared equally between the parties because, he said, there was nothing else to be apportioned between them. As to capital assets, the husband conceded equality of apportionment in principle. Judgment, 06/05/2014, free
  • Judgment determining an application made by a former wife under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 and an application by her for the enforcement, by way of a charging order, of a capitalised maintenance order made by a French Court. Judgment, 02/02/2017, free
  • Application for financial relief under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 where the judge had to consider needs in a context of an extremely opulent lifestyle. Judgment, 08/07/2016, free
  • This was a case in which the judge did not feel it was appropriate for him to cross-examine the child (who had made allegations against her step father) in a situation where the father was not represented or eligible for legal aid. The judge said instead that the court should arrange for a legal representative to be appointed to cross-examine the child on behalf of the father and that the cost of this should be met by HMCTS. The Lord Chancellor appealed and the appeal was allowed, the court saying that in the present case, which was fairly straightforward, the judge should probably have decided to conduct the questioning himself. The nature of this case was such that there were options available to the judge which would have ensured a fair hearing and vindicated the article 6 and 8 rights of the father and the other children involved. Judgment, 22/05/2015, free
  • The father of the child had failed to make monthly payments to the mother following an order made in Poland. Believing the father to be living and working in the UK, the mother applied for enforcement of the order under EU Council Regulation 4/2009 but attempts to trace the father have so far been unsuccessful and he has not yet been served with an order to attend court. The judge in this case confirmed that s.31E MFPA 1984 authorises magistrates to issue a warrant to secure the attendance of an alleged maintenance defaulter who fails to appear in response to their summons (although it is to be noted that the jurisdiction of the magistrates to issue a warrant in this case if the father was served and failed to attend has not yet directly arisen). Judgment, 15/05/2017, free
  • Judgment, 05/02/2013, free
  • Appeal by H against a refusal to make an order to secure a witness statement from the police that he thought would assist him in proving allegations of his wife's unreasonable behaviour. Appeal dismissed, partly because it was a case management decision and the CoA should only interfere in rare circumstances, and partly because the judge was aware of the need to meet the overriding objective of the FPR to deal with cases expeditiously. Black LJ also notes that the couple could have been divorced by consent by now as 2 years had passed since separation. Judgment, 11/02/2015, free
  • Father was seeking a stay of English wardship proceedings on the basis that Singapore was clearly the more appropriate forum in which to resolve proceedings relating to the future care of his son. The judge ruled that proceedings should continue in the UK saying: "Of principal and magnetic importance in my judgment is the presence of [the child's] parents in this jurisdiction; the fact that each is likely to remain resident in this jurisdiction for at least the next few months; and the significant issue of the mother's ability to re-enter Singapore and conduct proceedings in that jurisdiction in circumstances where she has neither immigration clearance nor the means to support her travel to and from that jurisdiction, nor legal representation in the Singapore courts." Judgment, 27/07/2015, free
  • High value financial provision case where the wife sought orders which would enable her to receive all the properties in this jurisdiction together with a lump sum equivalent to half the value of the Russian properties whose sole beneficial owner was the H. The total assets, or at least those that could be ascertained against the non-disclosure of the H, were worth over £107m and all the properties, apart from the FMH, were held within various company structures and worth in excess of £14m. The judge held that all the UK properties were held on resulting and constructive trusts for the H and the W was awarded over £53m. Child maintenance orders of £20,000 pa per child were also made. Judgment, 15/08/2013, free
  • Application to set aside leave to apply for financial provision under Part III of the MFPA 1984 and to strike out the claim where the applicant husband was not on notice when leave was granted and he claimed that this was a 'second bite of the cherry' after proceedings in New Zealand. Leave refused. Judgment, 03/04/2014, free
  • Here, Mr Justice Mostyn reviews his previous order which limited the wife's maintenance pending suit to child maintenance and a sum to meet her legal costs. After a single joint expert was instructed, it appears that there was a proceedings divorce entitling recognition in this jurisdiction and that the wife had a strong case for a substantive award for maintenance pending suit and a costs allowance, provided that the merits warranted such an award. Judgment, 28/04/2014, free
  • W's application for " interim interim" financial provision for herself and for the two children of the marriage, to endure until the next hearing, in February 2014. The H claimed that there had been a non-proceedings divorce in his home country and it was very uncertain that the W here would be entitled, by reason either of res judicata or estoppel, to pursue a third petition and demonstrate that the marriage had not been previously dissolved in the husband's home country. The judge decided that he should only award maintenance pending suit to relieve a real predicament of need, and in this case there was none. Child maintenance awards made but no awards were made for the W. Judgment, 20/01/2014, free
  • Application for cost allowance to fund Schedule 1 Children Act litigation where the child was conceived through AI to lesbian parents but where the respondent biological father also had parental responsibility. The application was granted largely because the complexity of the case was such that the prospect of the applicants acting as litigants in person would "be a gross inequality of arms, and arguably a violation of their rights under Articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights". Judgment, 10/03/2015, free
  • Judgment, 24/05/2006, free
  • A long running case in which the 'W' claimed that she and the 'H' had been married in Nigeria and that she could pursue financial relief proceedings in England. The 'W' had brought proceedings by way of various petitions: the 2003 petition, the 2003 amended petition, the 2004 petition and the 2004 amended petition. The Nigerian court found that no marriage ceremony had taken place and so the issues for the court to decide were: 1) The Respondent's application to dismiss and/or strike out the 2003 Amended Petition; 2) The Respondent's application to set aside an order granting permission for the Petitioner to bring proceedings under the 1984 Act and/or for an order dismissing or striking out those proceedings; 3) The Petitioner's application for orders, directions and interim payments in her application under the 1984 Act; 4) The Respondent's application to dismiss and/or strike out the 2004 Amended Petition; 5) The Petitioner's application for orders, directions and interim payments in her application made by the 2004 Amended Petition; 6) The Respondent's application for repayment of the sums he has paid by way of maintenance pending suit in the 2003 Petition and in the proceedings under the 1984 Act. Judgment, 15/10/2013, free
  • In force from 7th August 2017 Practice note, 24/07/2017, free
  • Wife's appeal against the dismissal of her application to set aside a consent order in financial remedy proceedings which was made in 2005. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 06/03/2017, free
  • Judgment, 25/07/2007, free
  • A case concerning a W and H who divorced in India and where the W is contending that the divorce should not be recognised on public policy grounds. Judgment, 25/07/2013, free
  • Judgment, 01/02/2012, free
  • Judgment, 28/07/2003, free
  • Proposals announced in wide-ranging Bill News, 23/02/2017, free
  • Judgment from the President concerning the representation for LiP's and possible infringement of their article 6 and 8 rights if such representation is not publicly funded. The President said that 'there may be circumstances in which the court can properly direct that the cost of certain activities should be borne by HMCTS. I emphasise that (the provision of interpreters and translators apart) this is an order of last resort. No order of this sort should be made except by or having first consulted a High Court Judge or a Designated Family Judge.' Judgment, 06/08/2014, free
  • Judgment, 20/10/2010, free
  • Appeal requiring the court to consider, apparently for the first time, the jurisdiction of a court in England and Wales to entertain an application for spousal maintenance in the context of The Maintenance Regulation following previous proceedings in another EU member state. Judgment, 13/11/2015, free
  • Financial provision case which has been running for 16 years. The case was decided against the W and she appealed, arguing that the delay and the judge's reliance on counsel's submissions had led the judge into error. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 05/08/2013, free
  • Judgment from The President concerning validity of 180 divorce petitions fraudulently obtained for non-domiciled Italian couples through the use of a single UK PO box address. The divorce petitions were set aside. Judgment, 01/10/2014, free
  • Judgment, 27/10/2010, free
  • An application by the husband for an order granting permission to appeal the order of a Deputy District Judge whereby he stayed the wife's divorce proceedings but excepted from that stay her application for a Legal Services Payment Order. Mr Justice Mostyn gave permission for the appeal and allowed it, saying that by the terms of FPR 2010 rule 9.7(1) an application for an LSPO is for an interim order, just as is an application for an order for maintenance pending suit. Such an application is dependent for its existence and validity on the continuance of the main suit. If the main suit is stayed then all subsidiary ancillary applications for financial relief are stayed, and a fortiori all applications and orders for interim relief, whether for maintenance pending suit or an LSPO. Judgment, 10/03/2014, free
  • The husband was applying for an order that the wife's solicitor, Raymond Tooth, be debarred from acting for her in these proceedings. The application arose out of the fact that following initial contact between the wife's and the husband's solicitors, the husband raised the point that Mr Tooth was one of six solicitors his representative had consulted in November 2015 with a view to, he says, choosing which firm would be a good fit for him were family litigation to occur in London. When that litigation was in prospect, in February 2017, and it transpired that the wife had instructed Sears Tooth, he objected on the basis that Mr Tooth was privy to confidential and privileged information which was such as to conflict him from acting for the wife. The application was dismissed. Judgment, 20/11/2017, free
  • Judgment, 22/11/2012, free
  • Consent order drawn up, after which the wife discovered that the value of the shares in question were far in excess of the figure prepared for the hearing. Court of Appeal dismissed the wife's appeal against a refusal by the judge to set aside the order. Wife's appeal allowed after the Supreme Court held that the High Court judge would not have made the order he did, when he did, in the absence of husband's fraud, and the consent order should have been set aside. He had also been wrong to deprive the wife of a full and fair hearing of her claims by re-making his decision at the hearing of the application on the basis of the evidence then before him. Judgment, 14/10/2015, free
  • Case note, 14/02/2011, members only
  • Appeal by father against orders that were made under Schedule 1 of the Children Act 1989. Judgment, 27/10/2015, free
  • In brief: Following the making of an order returning the child to Spain from England, the mother’s (“M”) mental health rapidly deteriorated. She successfully applied to the High Court to have the order set aside and a re-hearing listed following a psychiatric assessment. The Court of Appeal upheld the set aside, concluding that the High Court has the power under the inherent jurisdiction to review and set aside 1980 Hague Convention final orders. The power can be used where there has been a fundamental change of circumstances which undermines the basis on which the original order was made. Here the original return order had been made where the court found that M had not made out her Article 13(b) defence which included M’s claims that there were grave risks to her mental health. Judgment, 16/08/2018, free
  • Judgment in long-standing dispute where the wife is attempting to enforce undertakings after her Part III application, issued as a result of alleged breach of the undertakings, had failed when the Court of Appeal ruled that there was no jurisdiction. Judgment, 03/12/2013, free
  • The court ruled that an earning capacity was not capable of being a matrimonial asset to which the sharing principle applies. Also, the court rejected the argument that the wife's capital, apart from her housing need, should be preserved and should not be used in any way to meet her income needs. Judgment, 13/04/2018, free
  • Judgment, 26/10/2000, free
  • Husband's appeal against dismissal of his application to set aside financial remedy orders since 2010, partly on the grounds that orders for service by email were null and void. Appeal dismissed. Judgment, 27/10/2017, free
  • Appeal by husband in financial remedy proceedings against decision that the matrimonial assets should be shared equally on the grounds that he had made a special contribution. Appeal dismissed as the trial judge could not be found to be wrong. Judgment, 13/04/2017, free
  • Judgment, 08/11/2012, free
  • Hearing to deal with quantum and/or the nature of the financial relief to which the wife should be entitled after it was determined appropriate for the English court to make an order for financial provision for her under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Judgment, 14/07/2016, free
  • Application for financial relief after an overseas divorce brought by a former wife under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Both parties were Russian nationals and it was the respondent's case that the Russian financial remedy order made in 2009 precluded any further claims the wife may have in relation to either spousal maintenance or a variation of any trust or post-nuptial settlement pursuant to section 24(1)(c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Mrs Justice Roberts decided that a Part III order would be appropriate, determination of which would be made at a later date. Judgment, 25/04/2016, free
  • Judgment, 29/10/2012, free
  • The terms of a foreign consent order having been implemented, the wife made an application under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 seeking substantial additional provision for herself several years later (there having been no change in her circumstances). The judge ordered the appellant husband to pay to the wife a lump sum of £1,148,480 together with provision for the children of the marriage. The husband appealed against this order, it being unusual for an order to be made under Part III where a foreign order is in place. The court ruled that it was not appropriate to make an order under Part III in this case. Judgment, 05/10/2017, free

Published: 31/12/1984

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