Family Law Hub

Maintenance

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  • 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
  • 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
  • An arbitration had taken place to resolve pension division, spousal maintenance, and the division of assets pertaining to shares and a redundancy. The husband felt that there had been a miscalculation of the wife's income, affecting the amount of spousal maintenance due. Ms Clare Ambrose, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge, dismissed the application. The arbitrator's conduct fell far short of making this a case which required court intervention. Judgment, 22/07/2019, free
  • After some delay, the husband sought a stay of a periodical payments order, arguing that the judge had fallen into error in treating his future earning capacity as a matrimonial asset which could be shared. In circumstances where there was no final version of the judgment, nor a sealed order, Francis J held that it was unfair to hold the relevant time limits against the husband. He agreed that the judge had been plainly wrong, and reduced the annual payments from £150,000 to £68,000. This hearing had been listed for only a day, causing further delay, and he stressed that there is a general duty on counsel and solicitors to inform the court if a time estimate is plainly incorrect. Judgment, 22/07/2019, free
  • A freezing order on a property was due to be reconsidered. It had been made in favour of Mrs Chaudhri following default in the payment of a lump sum. Mostyn J found that the applicant had twice failed to pursue her claim in relation to the property, and it would be a manifest abuse were a claim now to be allowed to be mounted and protected by a freezing injunction. The freezing order on the property was discharged, but the worldwide freezing order made earlier would remain in force and be transferred to the Family Court. Any further applications for freezing relief should be made to the same Family Court and heard only at High Court judge level. Judgment, 31/05/2019, free

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