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Financial Provision

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  • The husband appealed from a financial remedy order made in February 2020, on the ground that the judge had failed to assess or take into account the husband's needs and only considered the wife's needs. Part of the order had been for the husband to sell a property in Miami, with the wife to receive the lump sum. The day before the hearing the court – and the husband's own solicitors – learned that the husband's beneficial interest in that property had been transferred to his mother. In Moylan LJ's view, the judge had been entitled to take the husband's litigation conduct into account. The disparity in outcome could be justified in this case. The judge had found that the burden of maintaining the children was likely to be met by the wife. Moylan LJ did not accept the submission that the judge's consideration of the husband's needs had been inadequate. Patten LJ and Newey LJ agreed. The appeal was dismissed. Judgment, 25/09/2020, free
  • The wife made an application to implement the terms of a consent order. The husband cross-applied, to have the order implemented in a different manner. The premise of the consent order had been that two valuable properties in London and New York constituted matrimonial property, and their value would be aggregated with a third property, the overall value being divided equally between the parties. In Mostyn J's judgment, the true facts on which he had made the consent order had not been known by either the parties or the court at the time the order was made, and had the true facts been known (regarding the trusts involved, which were not capable of being collapsed or dissolved) he would have made a materially different order. The order was set aside. Judgment, 09/09/2020, free
  • The hearing concerned cross-applications made by the wife against the husband in the context of her application for financial remedies. They had married in 1991 and the wife's divorce petition had been issued in 2018. The wife relied upon the jurisdiction established in Thwaite v Thwaite [1982] Fam 1 to support the "insertion" of new orders into an agreement between the parties that, by application of Rose v Rose [2002] 1 FLR 978, had become an order of the court. Mr Recorder Allen QC did not consider that there had been a change in circumstances such that the Thwaite jurisdiction was engaged, and thus he could not entertain granting the relief sought by the wife. Even if he were wrong and the Thwaite jurisdiction was engaged, he would have declined to "insert" the orders sought by her into the Rose order. All applications made by both parties were dismissed in their entirety. Mr Recorder Allen QC also noted that he had been sent a significant number of emails by the parties' solicitors since the hearing, which he regarded as inappropriate and to be deprecated. Judgment, 25/08/2020, free
  • The parties had been married and had a ten-year-old daughter. The proceedings had been protracted and involved substantial costs. The judge had made an income clean break order. The husband had applied to enforce the outstanding payment of the lump sum. The wife now applied to set the order aside, make a new order or vary its terms insofar as it dismissed income claims and required payment of a lump sum. She argued that where there was an executory order which had not been fully implemented, and the current circumstances were inequitable, the original order should be set aside and everything opened up again. She placed specific reliance on Thwaite [1981] 2 All ER 789. DDJ David Hodson dismissed her application, apart from as to the date of payment. He was satisfied that the appropriate test was either "significant change of circumstances or quasi-Barder" and in his view none of the reasons given in this case came remotely close. Judgment, 21/08/2020, free
  • An application by the wife to vary and extend the freezing orders granted against the first respondent in 2016, to cover all of his assets. They had been granted because of a real risk that the judgment – that the husband should pay the wife £453,576,152 by way of financial remedy consequent upon the breakdown of their marriage – would otherwise have gone unsatisfied. Knowles J had no hesitation in concluding that there was a real risk that the judgments and orders in the wife's favour would go unsatisfied if the relief were not granted. The husband's complex web of illicit transactions had expanded beyond the perceived scope of the original freezing orders, with the result that he and third parties had felt able to ignore the court's orders with impunity. Judgment, 21/08/2020, free

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