Unreasonable Behaviour must reach criteria W appealed against the judge’s refusal to grant a decree of divorce. He found that the marriage had broken down irretrievably, but did not find that H had behaved iin such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with H. Held: W’s appeal failed. ‘What the … Continue reading Owens v Owens: CA 24 Mar 2017
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
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
The parties had obtained an ancillary relief order by consent. That order was later varied at the request of the wife. The husband now appealed against the order saying it was not open to him to vary what had been agreed to. . .
Applications for ancillary relief . .
An award was made for the husband to pay 50% of maximum lump sum and periodical payments of half pension income and other payments. This reflected the wife’s contribution through the marriage, allowing the husband to build his business. . .
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A tenancy which had been terminated by a notice given by one of the joint tenants had expired. It did not come to an end by any deed, and so was not capable of being set aside by a family court in the course of divorce proceedings. The possession proceedings issued by the landlord could … Continue reading Newlon Housing Trust v Alsulaimen and Another: HL 29 Jul 1998
On a divorce where there were fairly substantial sums at issue, the two parties argued for different bases for calculation of the wife’s interests, either her reasonable needs according to Duxbury tables, or otherwise to reflect the particular facts. Held: The Ogden tables should not be preferred in matrimonial proceedings. In substantial asset cases two … Continue reading Dharamshi v Dharamshi: CA 5 Dec 2000
The Customs appealed an order allowing a judge in divorce ancillary relief proceedings to make an order transferring the matrimonial home and two life policies in such a way as would defeat their attempt to enforce recovery under the 1994 Act. Held: The customs had not established that the 1994 had any statutory priority. Both … Continue reading Commissioners of Customs and Excise v A: A v A: CA 22 Jul 2002
A director’s pension scheme could be treated as a post-nuptial marriage settlement where the director was the only scheme member. It was thus a matrimonial asset capable of variation by a court in ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce. The court sought to define a marriage settlement: ‘In the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 settlement is … Continue reading Brooks v Brooks: HL 29 Jun 1995
The family had been wealthy. Assets were placed into a trust. The businesses fell into difficulty, and the parties divorced. The wife requested the court to set aside the trust. Held: The trust was to be varied as a post-nuptial settlement. The settlement had not ceased to be post nuptial merely by removal of the … Continue reading Charalambous v Charalambous: FD 5 Mar 2004
A finding in ancillary relief proceedings is not binding on others who were not themselves parties, and third parties should be allowed to be joined if necessary.Lord Denning MR said: ‘It seems to me that, under section 24 of the 1973 Act, if an intervenor comes in making a claim for the property, then it … Continue reading Tebbutt v Haynes: 1981
In a divorce petition, the petitioner sought, under section 24 of the 1973 Act, to sever the joint tenancy in the family home. The respondent died in a car crash before the hearing. Held: The mere inclusion of such a prayer did not itself operate to sever the joint tenancy. The desire to sever must … Continue reading Harris v Goddard: CA 1983
A pension fund with only one member can be a post nuptial settlement and open to variation in ancillary proceedings in a divorce. Citations: Independent 14-May-1993, Times 05-May-1993 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 24(1)(c) Jurisdiction: England and Wales Family Updated: 28 April 2022; Ref: scu.78044
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
H appealed against an ancillary relief order. . .
The court was asked to pierce the veil of incorporation of a company in the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce. H had failed to co-operate with the court.
After a comprehensive review of all the authorities, Munby J said: ‘The . .
The parties had been wealthy. Whilst still married, substantial sums had been placed in a trust. Their business interests had crashed and both faced personal bankruptcy. The husband appealed an order setting aside the trust.
Held: A clause in . .
Application for ancillary relief to vary post-nuptial settlement. . .
The wife and her second husband occupied a property in the joint names of herself and of her first husband, who, following their divorce, had applied under the Act of 1973 for a lump sum order reflective of his equal beneficial interest in it to be . .
The parties had disputed ancillary relief on their divorce. The three companies, each in the substantial ownership of the husband, challenged the orders made against them saying there was no jurisdiction to order their property to be conveyed to the . .
A transfer of property application in divorce ancillary relief proceedings was properly affected by the Local Authority’s housing policies. . .
A single member pension fund scheme was a post nuptial settlement within the Act, and was variable by the court on a divorce. No third party would be affected. . .
An order had been made in 1981 for the home not to be sold until the youngest child had attained the age of 17 ‘or further order’. The wife, who was living in the home with the children, against a judge’s determination that he had no jurisdiction to . .
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 . .
In ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce, the husband had been ordered to transfer his interest in property to his wife. Before it was put into effect, he became insolvent. The wife and receiver competed for the interest to have been . .
The husband had been convicted of trafficking in cannabis, and an order had been made confiscating his assets. His wife had already petitioned for divorce and begun ancillary relief proceedings. She claimed that her interest in the house under . .
Application under section 27 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973: ‘That section of the act was recently described in the Supreme Court as ‘moribund’. This case has demonstrated that that is not necessarily the case.’ Judges: Booth HHJ Citations:  EWHC B24 (Fam) Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 27 Jurisdiction: England and Wales … Continue reading H v H: FD 27 Nov 2014
The court considered an application for ancillary relief where one party had inherited a family farm. Held: The nature and source of the parties’ property are matter to be taken into account when determining the requirements of fairness. Judges: Munby J Citations:  1 FLR 576 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 23 Jurisdiction: England and … Continue reading P v P (Inherited Property): FD 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
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
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
The court urged caution in a judge using his own experience of the property market by way of judicial notice: ‘[W]herever it is to be argued that the wife could find alternative accommodation for herself out of her share of the equity, whatever that may be . . there should be evidence put before the … Continue reading Martin v Martin: CA 10 Mar 1977
The court has no power to dismiss an applicant’s claim for periodical payments against her will. Citations:  Fam 31,  1 FLR 286 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 25 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Cited by: Mentioned – Miller v Miller; McFarlane v McFarlane HL 24-May-2006 Fairness on Division of Family Capital The House faced … Continue reading Dipper v Dipper: CA 1980
When considering the division of matrimonial assets following a divorce, the court’s duty was, within the context of the rules set down by the Act, to impose a fair settlement according to the circumstances. Courts should be careful not to make assumptions about the roles taken by the parties according to their sex, and the … Continue reading Cowan v Cowan: CA 14 May 2001
The wife committed suicide six months after the ancillary relief order. The husband sought to re-open out of time the ancillary relief order and to reclaim the sum paid from the estate. Held: Where an ancillary relief order came to be reconsidered because its basis had been undermined by supervening events, the court should look … Continue reading Smith v Smith: CA 20 Feb 1991
There is no presumption in favour of a clean break provision in an ancillary relief claim. A nominal award of maintenance was appropriate where the wife’s long dependency and continued responsibility for children made future earning capacity problematic. A dismissal of a claim for maintenance where the wife was relatively mature should not be expected. … Continue reading SRJ v DWJ (Financial Provision): CA 20 Oct 1999
Citations: (1981) Fam Law 243 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 37 Cited by: Applied – Shipman v Shipman FD 1991 W sought an order under s37 of the 1973 Act restraining H in divorce proceedings from disposing of or dealing with $300,000, or one half of his severance pay, whichever was the greater, pending determination … Continue reading Roche v Roche: CA 1981
The court set out a series of principles applicable in ancillary relief cases where the resources exceeded the strict needs of the parties, including that the court should not make allowance for a spouse’s desire to be able to leave a sum to her children by her will, and ‘. . . the word ‘needs’ … Continue reading Preston v Preston: CA 1982
The widower aged 81, appealed against refusal of provision under the 1975 Act from his wife’s estate. She had left him nothing. The judge at first instance had found, applying Styler, that her treatment was not unreasonable, and that therefore no jurisdiction to make an award arose. Held: The court considered the application of section … Continue reading Moody v Stevenson: CA 12 Jul 1991
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
The nature of the family assets may be taken into account when considering how they are to be divided in ancillary relief proceedings on divorce, where these are businesses which will be crippled or lose much of their value, if disposed of prematurely in order to fund an equal division. Coleridge J said: ‘In the … Continue reading N v N (Financial Provision: Sale of Company): FD 2001
The husband and his wife agreed that in consideration, inter alia, of the wife consenting to the husband divorcing her on the ground of two years’ separation and consent, he would transfer the matrimonial home to her, and she would take over responsibility for the mortgage. A decree absolute was made on the husband’s petition … Continue reading Sutton v Sutton: 1984
The parties had married in 1973, separated in 1976, and divorce proceedings begun in 1977. W suffered bad health and did not work. H had a position as a senior editor of a newspaper. Held: The periodical payments order should provide support for W during her ill health, but not for life. A lump sum … Continue reading Robertson v Robertson: FD 1982
The court considered the effect of a remarriage on a financial provision order made on divorce. Sir George Baker P said: ‘The prospect, chance or hope of remarriage is, I think, irrelevant, but the fact of remarriage, which does not admit of speculation, is in my judgment, something which the court must consider in the … Continue reading H v H (Family Provision: Remarriage): CA 1975
When considering an application for ancillary relief by a wife, the court should consider the wife’s position, ‘not from the narrow point of ‘need’, but to ascertain her reasonable requirements.’ Judges: Ormrod LJ Citations:  Fam 83 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 Cited by: Cited – White v White HL 26-Oct-2000 The couple going through … Continue reading O’D v O’D: CA 1976
H had transferred his interest in the jointly owned matrimonial home to W for her promise to have sole liability for the mortgage debt. Nearly a year later her divorce claim for capital provision was dismissed by consent on the basis that H had already transferred his interests to W. H was bankrupted, and his … Continue reading Re Kumar (A Bankrupt), ex parte Lewis v Kumar: 1993
The court explained the absence from the check list in the section of any mention of the welfare of a child of the family. Judges: Hale J Citations:  1 FLR 152 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 25A Cited by: Cited – Morgan v Hill CA 28-Nov-2006 The father appealed an award of periodical payments … Continue reading J v C (Child’s Financial Provision): 1999
The court considered the way of distributing property purchased by an unmarried couple: ‘When such a relationship comes to an end, just as with many divorced couples, there are likely to be disputes about the distribution of shared property. How are such disputes to be decided? They cannot be decided in the same way as … Continue reading Walker v Hall: CA 1984
In an ancillary relief application, there was enough capital to provide adequately for both husband and wife. Held: When considering the needs and obligations of the parties a broad view could be taken: (Ormrod LJ) ‘In a case such as this ‘needs’ can be regarded as equivalent to ‘reasonable requirements’, taking into account the other … Continue reading Page v Page: CA 1981
The family assets were in the region of andpound;8.5M. The wife sought a half share. The husband proposed that she should have 40%. The husband had built the family fortune through exceptional hard work and astute business acumen in the field of substantial development and construction projects. The court considered how capital and income could … Continue reading G v G (Financial Provision Equal Division): FD 2 Jul 2002
The husband had forged his wife’s signature on the loan application and on the charge of the house held by himself and his wife as joint tenants. He had left the country, and the plaintiff sought to enforce the charge, and ex parte obtained an order nisi charging the husband’s interest in the house. The … Continue reading First National Securities v Hegerty: CA 1984
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
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
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
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
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
A breadwinner’s unimpaired and unimpeded earning capacity is a powerful resource which can frequently repair any loss of capital after an unequal distribution. Munby J  2 FLR 285,  EWHC 3106 (Fam) Matriminial Causes Act 1973 25 England and Wales Citing: Cited – Mesher v Mesher and Hall CA 1973 (Heard in 1973, but … Continue reading B v B (Mesher Order): FD 2002
The court considered an application to vary an ancillary relief award and gave a wife more than the sum set out in the budget in circumstances where she had received a capital sum that, with hindsight, was far too low.Hale J said: ‘Where such a dramatic change in the comparative wealth of the parties takes … Continue reading Cornick v Cornick (No 2): FD 1995
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
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
Mr and Mrs Duxbury had been married for 22 years. When, at the end of their marriage, their financial affairs came before the court under the provisions of sections 23 and 24 of the 1973 Act, each wanted a clean break. By the standards of the day, Mr. Duxbury was a wealthy man, and a … Continue reading Duxbury v Duxbury: CA 1987
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
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
H had been paying maintenance to W for many years after the divorce. W now appealed against an order revoking the arrangement without providing a capital sum to replace it. H’s health had declined, and also his earnings. Held: W’s appeal succeeded. W had taken as part of her settlement a desk which was now … Continue reading Vaughan v Vaughan: CA 31 Mar 2010
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
Long delayed ancillary relief application proceeds The parties had divorced some 22 years before, but no ancillary relief order had been made to satisfy the application outlined in the petition. The parties when together had lived in relative poverty, but H had subsequently become wealthy. W applied for lump sum provision. W appealed against order … Continue reading Wyatt v Vince: SC 11 Mar 2015
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
Long Relationship Not Enough for Interest in Home The parties lived together for 17 years but were not married. The woman took the man’s name, but beyond taking on usual household duties, she made no direct financial contribution to the house. She brought up their two children over 17 years. Latterly she went to work, … Continue reading Burns v Burns: CA 1984
The couple going through the divorce each had substantial farms and wished to continue farming. It had been a long marriage. Held: Where a division of the assets of a family would satisfy the reasonable needs of either party on an ancillary relief application on a divorce, the court should include consideration of why any … Continue reading White v White: HL 26 Oct 2000
Establishing Clean Break on Divorce The House set out the principles for establishing a ‘clean break’ financial settlement on a divorce. Once a capital claim in a divorce has been given effect in a court order, the court does not have jurisdiction to vary it. Lord Scarman said: ‘Once an application has been dealt with … Continue reading Minton v Minton: HL 1979
A judgment summons, issued was issued by the wife to enforce a lump sum order made against her husband in their divorce proceedings. The judge had performed his statutory duty which included having to satisfy himself under s. 25 of the 1973 Act of the income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the … Continue reading Mubarak v Mubarak: CA 2001
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
The court considered a petition for divorce beased upon unreasonable behaviour. The Wife petitioner appealed from the decision dismissing her petition for the dissolution of her marriage to the respondent. Held: After discussing O’Neill: ‘one looks to this husband and this wife, or vice versa, but one also looks at what is reasonable. That is … Continue reading Buffery v Buffery: CA 30 Nov 1987
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
W petitioned for divorce alleging that he ‘has behaved in such a way that [she] cannot reasonably be expected to live with [him]’. H defended, and the petition was rejected as inadequate in the behaviour alleged. She said that the section should be . .
An entitlement to an equal division must reflect not only the parties’ respective contributions ‘but also an accrual over time’, and it would be ‘fundamentally unfair’ that a party who has made domestic contributions during a marriage of 12 years . .
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 . .
The financial claims on divorce had been settled by a compromise recorded in a court order. The order included periodical payments to the former wife. After she suffered financial losses, she sought an increase, and the former husband sought an . .
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H was a wealthy businessman, but, as a member of Lloyds, he had been required to charge the family home to secure potential liabilities. Also, the company of which he was managing director had always paid out only smaller sums by way of dividends, . .
In an ancillary relief application, Connell J awarded to the wife assets vested in a limited company whose entire share capital was owned by the husband. . .
The tenant had been joint tenant with his wife of a house. On the breakdown of the marriage, she left and gave notice to quit to the council. The council sought and obtained an order for possession, against which the husband now sought leave to . .
The marriage had been short, there were no children, both parties were working, and each could support themselves providing themselves with accomodation. The wife had successfully appealed a finding of the district judge for an equal distribution. . .
Appeals under the Family Proceedings Rules had to be read in conjunction with the CCR Order 37 r 6, and the judge hearing the appeal had discretion to substitute his own view for that of the court below. This is different from what applies on appeal . .
The court was to decide before making decree if grave financial hardship suffered, and should make allowance for availability of Income Support. . .
The petitioner issued a petition for divorce from the respondent, or alternatively a decree of nullity. The husband argued against both saying that the parties had not entered a marriage valid according to English law. W averred that the presumption . .
The parties appealed an order for the division of the family’s 20 million pound fortune on divorce. The husband argued that his special contribution to the creation of the wealth meant that he should receive a greater share.
Held: The Act gave . .
The parties had lived together as a married couple. They had had a child together by artificial insemination. It was then revealed that Mr J was a woman. The parties split up, and Mr J applied for an order for contact with the child.
Held: The . .
An application for extension of a periodical payments order made for a finite period the applicant must surmount a high threshold. . .
The court was asked how to achieve fairness in ancillary relief proceedings on a divorce as respects pension entitlements. The parties had sufficient to allow a clean break, but the assets mixture included sums invested which would be returned only . .
Consent orders had been made for maintenance and financial provision. The House was now asked whether the former wife could seek a property adjustment order of a type that had been sought in her petition but had not been made by the consent orders. . .
It was argued that in order for the court fully to flex its powers at final hearing under section 23 and section 24 MCA 1973, it was necessary to issue a separate application under the MWPA 1882 (or the Law of Property Act 1925). . .
FTTTx Income tax – pension payable to husband – claim that half of pension should be assessed on wife – Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 sections 1 and 19, Schedule E paragraph 2 – Income Tax (Earnings and . .
The husband appealed against an ancillary relief order, and particularly as to an order that he should continue to pay maintenance for the joint lives of the parties rater than for five years. He was earning a substantial income but anticipated that . .