Family Law Hub

Financial Provision

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  • An application by the former husband for permission to appeal out of time against the order for him to pay to the wife a lump sum of £3.09m, as well as periodical payments of £4,750 per calendar month and other amounts. The husband argued that he could not afford to meet the terms of the order, and that the judge had taken half the value of the husband’s shareholdings in two private companies with no evidence-based indication as to how the husband would be able to raise the required lump sum. The wife's position was that the appeal was not just out of time, but hopelessly so, and that the evidence at trial had indicated that the husband had been planning to sell his business interests in order to satisfy the lump sum payment, rather than relying upon dividends. In Mr Recorder Salter's judgment, the delay here was "serious and lacking in any good explanation". He had no hesitation in reaching the conclusion that he was unable to grant relief from sanctions and that accordingly the application for permission to appeal had to be dismissed. Judgment, 21/11/2020, free
  • The former husband applied for a legal services payment order pursuant to section 22ZA of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. As matters currently stood, neither party owned assets of any significant value. The former wife had been engaged in offshore litigation, which so far had proved unsuccessful, reducing but not eliminating the likelihood of recovery from that source. Roberts J was satisfied that legal services funding was not an option open to the former husband, nor was he a candidate for a commercial litigation funding arrangement. Focused legal advice could serve to narrow the issues which were currently preventing a settlement. The question then was whether the former wife was in a position to satisfy a legal services provision order. After considering the criteria in section 22ZB(1)(a)–(g), Roberts J decided that she would be able to procure the funding to meet such an order, and would not thereby be exposed to undue hardship or prevented from obtaining her own legal advice. The former wife was ordered to pay the former husband £95,000. Judgment, 21/11/2020, free
  • A hearing at which Cobb J considered the appropriate sanction for breaches of a freezing injunction. The parties had never married, but lived together for about 20 years and had five children. The female partner had asserted that there had been 562 withdrawals from the account, and the vast majority had been proven. Cobb J took into account that it was not the female partner's wish to see the male partner imprisoned, and that the breaches had been deliberate, repeated, and over an extended period of time, leaving the account materially depleted, and that the male partner had at no time admitted his wrongdoing or accepted responsibilty for the breach. A six-month sentence of imprisonment would be the appropriate sanction, suspended for twelve months, to ensure his compliance with the extant final orders. Judgment, 18/11/2020, free
  • A consent order drafted by the wife's counsel had stated that periodical payments from the husband to the wife would cease upon the husband's remarriage, due to a drafting error. Upon notice of his remarriage and his intention to cease the payments, the wife successfully applied without notice to have the order amended under the slip rule. The husband applied out of time for permission to appeal and to set the previous orders aside. Knowles J found that the court had had jurisdiction to amend the order, despite the husband's assertion that it was no longer extant. The error in the consent order had been wholly accidental and genuine, though it was unfortunate it had not been detected and corrected earlier. The case law was plain that the slip rule could be used to correct an order to give effect to the court's intention, and that was the case here. If not corrected, the error would deprive the wife of her entitlement to ongoing periodical payments and thus fail to give effect to the court's intention. The husband's appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 18/11/2020, free
  • In the course of consolidated Children Act 1989 Schedule 1 enforcement proceedings and Children Act 1989 section 8 proceedings, the father appealed against an order for financial disclosure with a penal notice, and a costs allowance order in favour of the mother. He also sought to put in evidence of the mother's alleged non-disclosure and drug use. Williams J refused the father's applications to admit fresh evidence, to amend the grounds of appeal, and for disclosure of the means by which the mother's lawyers were funded through the Children Act proceedings. He had not demonstrated a realistic prospect of success in relation to any of them, nor was there any other compelling reason to grant permission to appeal. The mother sought an order for the father to pay her costs of and occasioned by the appeal and the associated applications. Williams J was satisfied that this was an appropriate case in which to make such an order. Judgment, 05/11/2020, free

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  • Gwynneth Knowles J considered the application of the slip rule where a court order made in 2017 had referred incorrectly in one paragraph to the ‘applicant’ instead of to the ‘respondent’. The order had consequently erroneously set out that the husband was to stop paying periodical payments to the wife upon his own remarriage, rather than upon the remarriage of the wife. Case note, 19/11/2020, free
  • The husband appealed a final financial remedy order made by Cohen J. The sole ground of appeal was that the judge failed to assess or take into account the husband’s needs, and only considered the wife’s needs. Case note, 20/10/2020, free
  • Cohen J considered an application by a husband for financial remedies from his wife, who was a beneficiary of several trusts. Case note, 20/10/2020, free
  • Mostyn J considered what should be done when an order is made on a fundamentally false and mistaken basis. Case note, 24/09/2020, free
  • On 14 August 2020, Gwynneth Knowles J (“the judge”) gave a judgment in the long-running case of Akhmedova v Akhmedov. The scale of the litigation was large and there were 10 respondents to the applications made by Tatiana Akhmedova (“W”), as well as 10 respondents to committal applications made by W. Case note, 10/09/2020, free

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