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Trusts

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  • 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
  • An application by the former wife for a financial remedy order in respect of the parties’ only child, a six-year-old girl. The issue was to what extent the court should exercise its jurisdiction under section 23 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 to impose conditions on the release to the parties of a frozen fund of some £3.74 million, the fund having derived from the settlement of a medical negligence claim launched on behalf of their daughter. In Roberts J's view, there had to be a formal mechanism for ensuring that the child continued to benefit from those funds. She rejected the idea of a section 89 disability trust. She made an order for child maintenance of £2,000 per month. A sum of £150,000 from the father's share of the settlement monies would be set aside as a secured maintenance fund, with the father being entitled to draw down against that fund for the child maintenance payments. £900,000 of the settlement monies could be used by the father towards purchasing a property of his own, with a charge on the property in the child's name for that amount. The mother would be permitted to use settlement monies to redeem her existing mortgage. As a condition of the release of these funds, each parent would be required to purchase life insurance with the daughter as beneficiary. Judgment, 08/08/2020, free
  • The issue was whether or not Cohen J should determine, almost certainly by its dismissal, the wife's application for capital orders against the husband or whether he should further adjourn her capital claims. The husband had settled a trust with a very large sum of money, from which he had been irrevocably excluded after the marriage had broken down, and was in arrears with his periodical payments, but was living comfortably. Cohen J found that dismissing the wife's capital claims would be a matter of last resort, and adjourned them, with the proviso that they would be dismissed unless an application to restore them was made by 31 July 2022. Judgment, 07/08/2019, free
  • The couple married in 2016 after a long relationship, and the husband died later that year. The appeal was concerned with whether an application under s 2 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 could be made out of time, whether a beneficial interest under a discretionary trust instead of outright provision amounted to reasonable financial provision, and the relevance of a "stand-still agreement" in place while an out of court settlement was pursued. Asplin LJ found that the explanation for the lapse of time in this case was clear, and it had been wrong of the judge to find that the wife had received sufficient advice about the time limit and the 1975 Act. King LJ and Baker LJ agreed. The court exercised the power in s 4 of the 1975 Act to allow the wife to bring a claim out of time. Judgment, 31/07/2019, free
  • The wife applied for financial remedies, having had a freezing order granted on some of the husband's funds. The husband had instructed solicitors but failed to engage in proceedings, and after he was found to lack capacity to litigate the Official Solicitor was appointed. Moor J rejected the wife's case for a second home in London, but came to the conclusion that an appropriate budget was £175,000 per year for the rest of her life, making for an overall award of over £7 million. She was also awarded five additional maintenance payments to reflect that she would be kept out of her money for five years. Judgment, 20/05/2019, free

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