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Yorston and Others, Re (Matrimonial Causes Act 1973: Improper Petitions): FC 10 Sep 2021

Petitions with Identical Particulars Dismissed 28 divorce petitions had particulars including the exact same form of words for the allegations. The court could not accept that the behaviour had been identical and concluded that the petitions were improper. Held: The petitions were dismissed. A reference to the DPP was not necessary, Moor J [2021] EWFC … Continue reading Yorston and Others, Re (Matrimonial Causes Act 1973: Improper Petitions): FC 10 Sep 2021

Robinson v Robinson (Disclosure) Practice Note: CA 1982

The court considered the duty of parties in finacial relief proceedings to give full disclosure. Held: In proceedings for ancillary relief, there was a duty, both under the rules and by authority, on the parties to make full and frank disclosure of their property and financial resources; accordingly the power to set aside orders was … Continue reading Robinson v Robinson (Disclosure) Practice Note: CA 1982

Bellinger v Bellinger: HL 10 Apr 2003

Transgender Male to Female not to marry as Female The parties had gone through a form of marriage, but Mrs B had previously undergone gender re-assignment surgery. Section 11(c) of the 1973 Act required a marriage to be between a male and a female. It was argued that the section was incompatible with the claimant’s … Continue reading Bellinger v Bellinger: HL 10 Apr 2003

FZ v SZ and Others (ancillary relief: conduct: valuations): FD 5 Jul 2010

The court heard an application for ancillary relief and variation of a post nuptial settlement. Each party made allegations of misconduct against the other, and the litigation had been bitter and protracted. W had obtained copies of H’s private email correspondence, and H had relocated financial assets. Held: H’s actions were exceptionally unpleasant and were … Continue reading FZ v SZ and Others (ancillary relief: conduct: valuations): FD 5 Jul 2010

S v S (Matrimonial Proceedings: Appropriate Forum) (Divorce: Staying Proceedings): FD 27 Mar 1997

Fairness is the test for choice of forum for staying divorce proceedings. As to prenuptial agreements, Wilson J suggested that there might come a case: ‘where the circumstances surrounding the prenuptial agreement and the provision therein contained might, when viewed in the context of the other circumstances of the case, prove influential or even crucial. … Continue reading S v S (Matrimonial Proceedings: Appropriate Forum) (Divorce: Staying Proceedings): FD 27 Mar 1997

Radmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino: SC 20 Oct 2010

The parties, from Germany and France married and lived at first in England. They had signed a pre-nuptial agreement in Germany which would have been valid in either country of origin. H now appealed against a judgment which bound him to it, restricting his ancillary relief. Held: H’s appeal failed (Lady Hale dissenting). Separation agreements … Continue reading Radmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino: SC 20 Oct 2010

Acts

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A v B (Ancillary relief: Separation agreement): FD 17 Jan 2005

The husband appealed against an ancillary relief order, saying that the judge had applied the terms of a separation agreement without acknowledging that that agreement had been entered into without full disclosure having been made. Had the judge looked properly at the issues identified in the Act, the order would have been different. Held: The … Continue reading A v B (Ancillary relief: Separation agreement): FD 17 Jan 2005

G v G (Financial Provision: Separation Agreement): CA 28 Jun 2000

The parties had been married before and had signed a prenuptial agreement. Held: Thorpe LJ set out the duties of a judge in ancillary relief applications: ‘A judge has to do fairness between the parties, having regard to all the circumstances. He must be free to include within that discretionary review the factors which compelled … Continue reading G v G (Financial Provision: Separation Agreement): CA 28 Jun 2000

McFarlane v McFarlane; Parlour v Parlour: CA 7 Jul 2004

Appeals were made against orders for periodical payments made against high earning husbands. The argument was that if the case of White had decided that capital should be distributed equally, the same should apply also to income. Held: The distinction between capital and income awards is no longer conclusive, having arisen in part from historical … Continue reading McFarlane v McFarlane; Parlour v Parlour: CA 7 Jul 2004

Hildebrand v Hildebrand: 1992

The parties in ancillary relief proceedings sought orders for discovery. H had been to the wife’s flat surreptitiously on five occasions, and taken photocopies of so many documents obtained by him in the course of those visits (but returned after photocopying) that the photocopies themselves would now ‘fill a crate’, as the judge was told. … Continue reading Hildebrand v Hildebrand: 1992

Kemmis v Kemmis (Welland and Others Intervening): CA 1988

H had mortgaged the matrimonial home to release funds to support his lifestyle. The bank knew about the family circumstances and the mortgage was set aside at first instance. W applied to have the charge set aside. Held: The application failed. The charge had been executed long before W had commenced her claims. The Court … Continue reading Kemmis v Kemmis (Welland and Others Intervening): CA 1988

H v H (Financial Provision: Conduct): 1994

Citations: [1994] 2 FLR 801, [1994] 2 FCR 1031 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 25(2)(g) Cited by: Cited – Miller v Miller; M v M (Short Marriage: Clean Break) CA 29-Jul-2005 The parties contested ancillary relief where there had been only a short marriage, but where here were considerable family assets available for division. The … Continue reading H v H (Financial Provision: Conduct): 1994

Rapisarda v Colladon (Irregular Divorces): FC 30 Sep 2014

The court considered applications to set aside some 180 petitions for divorce on the grounds that they appeared to be attempts to pervert the course of justice by wrongfully asserting residence in order to benefit from the UK jurisdiction. Held: It had been asserted that the English court had jurisdiction to entertain the petition in … Continue reading Rapisarda v Colladon (Irregular Divorces): FC 30 Sep 2014

Miller v Miller; M v M (Short Marriage: Clean Break): CA 29 Jul 2005

The parties contested ancillary relief where there had been only a short marriage, but where here were considerable family assets available for division. The wife sought to rely upn the husband’s behaviour to counter any argument as to the shortness of the marriage. The husband answered to say that she had declared that she would … Continue reading Miller v Miller; M v M (Short Marriage: Clean Break): CA 29 Jul 2005

Wilkinson v Kitzinger and others: FD 31 Jul 2006

The parties had gone through a ceremony of marriage in Columbia, being both women. After the relationship failed, the claimant sought a declaration that the witholding of the recognition of same-sex marriages recoginised in a foreign jurisdiction was an infringement of her human rights. Held: Such a relationship is recognised in England as a civil … Continue reading Wilkinson v Kitzinger and others: FD 31 Jul 2006

Bellinger v Bellinger: CA 17 Jul 2001

Transgender Male may not marry as Female Despite gender re-assignment, a person born and registered a male, remained biologically a male, and so was not a woman for the purposes of the law of marriage. The birth registration in this case had been correct. The words ‘male and female’ in the section had not previously … Continue reading Bellinger v Bellinger: CA 17 Jul 2001

Rossi v Rossi: FD 26 Jun 2006

W sought to challenge transactions entered into by H anticipating ancillary relief proceedings on their divorce. Nicholas Mostyn QC J said: ‘While of course no rigid rule can be expressed for the infinite variety of facts that arise in ancillary relief cases, I would have thought, generally speaking, that it would be very difficult for … Continue reading Rossi v Rossi: FD 26 Jun 2006

H v H (Financial Provision: Special Contribution): FD 2002

The court heard an application for ancillary relief in a divorce. The family assets were pounds 6M. The husband was a successful city solicitor. Counsel contended that for various reasons his financial accumulations during the course of his professional life amounted to a special contribution: but on behalf of the wife it was submitted that … Continue reading H v H (Financial Provision: Special Contribution): FD 2002

Re Abbot (A Bankrupt), ex parte Trustee Of The Property Of The Bankrupt v Abbot: QBD 1983

An ancillary relief order was made in December 1978, following a compromise agreement. It provided for the sale of the former matrimonial home and the payment to the wife from the proceeds of sale of andpound;18,000. The husband was adjudicated bankrupt in May 1980. The trustee applied for an order declaring that the order was … Continue reading Re Abbot (A Bankrupt), ex parte Trustee Of The Property Of The Bankrupt v Abbot: QBD 1983

H M Customs and Excise and Another v MCA and Another; A v A; Re MCA: CA 22 Jul 2002

The husband and wife divorced and a property adjustment order applied for. The husband had been convicted and a drugs proceeds order made under the 1994 Act. The order had not been satisfied, and the receiver applied for money from the matrimonial property. Held: The two Acts gave no indication that either was to take … Continue reading H M Customs and Excise and Another v MCA and Another; A v A; Re MCA: CA 22 Jul 2002

Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others: SC 12 Jun 2013

In the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce, questions arose regarding company assets owned by the husband. The court was asked as to the power of the court to order the transfer of assets owned entirely in the company’s names. The judge had made such an order, finding evidence that the companies had … Continue reading Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd and Others: SC 12 Jun 2013

B v B (Ancillary relief: Distribution of assets): CA 19 Mar 2008

The wife appealed an ancillary relief order for equal division on the basis that the judge had failed to allow for the fact that most of the assets had been brought to the marriage by her. Held: Her appeal succeeded. All the assets at the start of the marriage were hers, and the parties had … Continue reading B v B (Ancillary relief: Distribution of assets): CA 19 Mar 2008

Grasso v Naik (Twenty-One Irregular Divorces): FD 8 Nov 2017

Deceit in address avoided divorce petitions The Queen’s Proctor applied to have set aside as fraudulent 21 petitions for divorce. It was said that false addresses had been used in order to give the court the appearance that it had jurisdiction. Held: The decrees obtained by fraud were void and not just voidable, even here … Continue reading Grasso v Naik (Twenty-One Irregular Divorces): FD 8 Nov 2017

Judge v Judge and others: CA 19 Dec 2008

The wife appealed against an order refusing to set aside an earlier order for ancillary relief in her divorce proeedings, arguing that it had been made under a mistake. The sum available for division had had deducted an expected liabiliity to the Inland Revenue and otherwise in respect of failed business. The husband had prepared … Continue reading Judge v Judge and others: CA 19 Dec 2008

FS v RS and JS: FC 30 Sep 2020

Financial Relief for Adult son – No Jurisdiction Adult but vulnerable son seeking financial relief against married and cohabiting parents. Held: Refuse Sir James Munby [2020] EWFC 63, [2020] WLR(D) 532 Bailii, WLRD Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, Children Act 1989, Human Rights Act 1998 England and Wales Cited by: Main Judgment – FS v RS … Continue reading FS v RS and JS: FC 30 Sep 2020

V v W: FC 2 Dec 2020

FDR Appointment Must Remain Confidential XYZ had been appointed to value a family company within financial relief proceedings, but on seeking payment of their fees, and facing a counterclaim alleging negligence, they sought disclosure of the transcript of the Financial Dispute Resolution appointment at which they were appointed. This was prohibited by the Rules, and … Continue reading V v W: FC 2 Dec 2020

Crown Prosecution Service v Richards and Richards: CA 27 Jun 2006

The court was asked how to resolve the conflict between a public policy imperative to deprive offenders of the fruits of their crime and the requirement that dependants are provided for after divorce when the only funds available for both are the same? The CPS appealed against an order distributing a capital sum to the … Continue reading Crown Prosecution Service v Richards and Richards: CA 27 Jun 2006

Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane: HL 24 May 2006

Fairness on Division of Family Capital The House faced the question of how to achieve fairness in the division of property following a divorce. In the one case there were substantial assets but a short marriage, and in the other a high income, but low capital. Held: The 1973 Act gives only limited guidance on … Continue reading Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane: HL 24 May 2006

K, Regina v: CACD 28 Jul 2009

The defendant appealed against orders allowing the use in evidence against him of information provided by him in ancillary relief proceedings, and without prejudice negotations with his wife’s solicitors. Held: The information provided through the formal ancillary relief process had been obtained under compulsion, and the rules had been intended to require full disclosure and … Continue reading K, Regina v: CACD 28 Jul 2009

Goodwin v The United Kingdom: ECHR 11 Jul 2002

The claimant was a post operative male to female trans-sexual. She claimed that her human rights were infringed when she was still treated as a man for National Insurance contributions purposes, where she continued to make payments after the age at which a woman would have ceased payments thus causing harassment. A second claimant again … Continue reading Goodwin v The United Kingdom: ECHR 11 Jul 2002

Piglowska v Piglowski: HL 24 Jun 1999

No Presumption of House for both Parties When looking to the needs of parties in a divorce, there is no presumption that both parties are to be left able to purchase alternative homes. The order of sub-clauses in the Act implies nothing as to their relative importance. Courts should be reluctant to allow repeated appeals … Continue reading Piglowska v Piglowski: HL 24 Jun 1999

Miller Smith v Miller Smith: CA 2 Dec 2009

The married couple owned a property as tenants in common. The husband had moved out and, anticipating divorce proceedings, sought an order for the sale of the house citing his inability to sustain the very considerable mortgage payments. The wife said that it was inappropriate to use the 1996 Act when divorce proceedings were anticipated. … Continue reading Miller Smith v Miller Smith: CA 2 Dec 2009

Radmacher v Granatino: CA 2 Jul 2009

Husband and wife, neither English, had married in England. Beforehand they had signed a prenuptial agreement in Germany agreeing that neither should claim against the other on divorce. The wife appealed against an order to pay a lump sum to the husband. The husband had not had independent legal advice before signing the agreement. Held: … Continue reading Radmacher v Granatino: CA 2 Jul 2009

Stodgell v Stodgell FD: FD 18 Jul 2008

The parties were involved in ancillary relief proceedings. At the same time the husband was in prison after having hidden earnings from his business, and was subject to an unsatisfied confiscation order. The guardian had had doubts about the mother’s suitability to have full responsibility for the care of their 11 year old son. The … Continue reading Stodgell v Stodgell FD: FD 18 Jul 2008

Sharland v Sharland: SC 14 Oct 2015

The Court considered the impact of fraud upon a financial settlement agreed between divorcing parties where that agreement is later embodied in a court order? Does ‘fraud unravel all’, as is normally the case when agreements are embodied in court orders, or is there some special magic about orders made in matrimonial proceedings, which means … Continue reading Sharland v Sharland: SC 14 Oct 2015

White v Withers Llp and Dearle: CA 27 Oct 2009

The claimant was involved in matrimonial ancillary relief proceedings. His wife was advised by the defendants, her solicitors, to remove his private papers. The claimant now sought permission to appeal against a strike out of his claim against the solicitors for wrongful interference with property by ‘possessing, taking or intercepting the claimant’s correspondence and documents … Continue reading White v Withers Llp and Dearle: CA 27 Oct 2009

Her Majesty’s Attorney General v Akhter and Another: CA 14 Feb 2020

Islamic Nikah Ceremony did not create a marriage The parties had undertaken, in 1998, an Islamic marriage ceremony, a Nikah. They both knew at the time that to be effective in UK law, there would need to be a civil ceremony, and intended but did not achieve one. The parties having settled their dispute, the … Continue reading Her Majesty’s Attorney General v Akhter and Another: CA 14 Feb 2020

Balraj v Balraj: CA 1980

The husband’s petition was based on section 1(2)(e) of the 1973 Act, namely that he and the wife had lived apart for at least five years. The Court of Appeal upheld the judge’s rejection of the wife’s opposition to the grant of a decree, which was . .

More Recent Cases

This is a continuation of the list of significant recent cases on our front page. As a most recent case pushes its way to the top, the last on teh front page falls into here. Newest significant cases.

White v White: CA 19 Jun 1998

Where husband and wife were partners in a business, the court deciding ancillary relief should first assess what each would get on a dissolution, then ask if family court powers to be exercised to increase the wife’s share, if not then should it be . .

Tavoulareas v Tavoulareas (2): CA 19 Nov 1996

Both husband and wife had independent means, and neither worked. The wife had spent pounds 100,000k on Children Act proceedings, and sought ancillary relief. The judge had made an order on capital to reflect the fact that if those costs had not been . .

Birch v Birch: SC 26 Jul 2017

The parties, on divorcing had a greed, under court order that W should obtain the release of H from his covenants under the mortgage of the family home. She had been unable to do so, and sought that order to be varied to allow postponement of her . .

Rapisarda v Colladon (Irregular Divorces); FC 30 Sep 2014

References: [2014] EWFC 35 Links: Bailii Coram: Sir James Munby P FD The court considered applications to set aside some 180 petitions for divorce on the grounds that they appeared to be attempts to pervert the course of justice by wrongfully asserting residence in order to benefit from the UK jurisdiction. Held: It had been … Continue reading Rapisarda v Colladon (Irregular Divorces); FC 30 Sep 2014