Family Law Hub

Financial Provision

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  • The former wife's defence to claims for possession of the matrimonial home, and for weekly use and occupation payments of £5000, had referred to the terms of the financial remedy consent order, which in her view permitted her to occupy the property until it was sold. The county court judge had rejected her interpretation of the order. Fancourt J allowed her appeal, deciding that the correspondence on which the former husband had relied in the county court was not admissible as evidence of the meaning of the consent order. The county court judge erred in interpreting the order and the reasons he gave for reaching the conclusion that the appellant was a gratuitous licensee were mistaken. Judgment, 11/12/2019, free
  • The former husband applied to set aside part of a consent order relating to maintenance payments. The former wife cross-appealed for enforcement of maintenance arrears. The husband claimed that the consent order had been fraudulently changed without his knowledge, and that his wife had sent emails in his name to the firm involved in drafting the consent order. In emails to her the husband had expressed his belief that the maintenance changes were a mere "paperwork exercise" to enable her to get a new mortgage. Moor J found that the expert handwriting evidence as to the signature on the consent order was of no assistance, but he was satisfied that the wife had perpetrated a fraud on the husband, and that she had sent fraudulent emails on his behalf. The relevant paragraph of the order was set aside, and replaced with a clean break order. The wife owed the husband £248,930 from the sale of the matrimonial home, to be paid within 28 days. Judgment, 11/12/2019, free
  • The wife was seeking to enforce a financial order made in her favour. It had been the largest financial order ever made in favour of a wife in the jurisdiction and the husband had not paid a penny of it. She now made this application in respect of documents which had been obtained from a former employee of the husband, who was now assisting in her litigation enforcement efforts. An application for directions pursuant to UL v BK should have been made when the documents were received, but was not. Given that this was a case involving fraud and evasion on the husband's part, Knowles J directed that the wife and her lawyers were entitled to retain and use certain of the documents as if they had been disclosed by the husband, including those that were potentially privileged. Knowles J also gave guidance as to what should be done in similar situations in future. Judgment, 27/11/2019, free
  • Leave to apply for financial relief had been granted to the wife at an ex parte hearing under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The husband applied to set it aside. The parties lived only in Russia throughout the marriage, and had become very wealthy during the 1990s. There had been a blizzard of litigation since the divorce. The husband alleged that Cohen J had been materially misled by the wife's representatives when making the order. Cohen J regretted having been persuaded to hear the application without notice, and decided that the grant of leave was indeed given as a result of the court being misled, . The leave to apply for financial relief was set aside. The wife's application was considered afresh and dismissed. Her case was not appropriate for determination in England and Wales. Judgment, 12/11/2019, free
  • Seven summonses were before Cohen J. One was the wife's judgment summons, claiming the husband had not paid the sums due under the order and requesting committal. The husband admitted that he was in arrears, but argued that he was unable to pay. Looking at his expenditure, Cohen J was satisfied that that was not the case, and found him to be in contempt of court. Consideration of what punishment to impose was adjourned to a later hearing, and the husband was directed to file information and evidence regarding the claimed changes in his circumstances. Judgment, 12/11/2019, free

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