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
(Isle of Man) The parties had signed a post-nuptial agreement. Held: It was not open to the courts to find that such agreements might be enforced. They had been unenforceable under common law, and if the law was to be changed it must be by statute. There was an enormous difference in principle and in … Continue reading Macleod v Macleod: PC 17 Dec 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
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
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
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 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 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 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
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  EWFC … Continue reading Yorston and Others, Re (Matrimonial Causes Act 1973: Improper Petitions): FC 10 Sep 2021
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
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
After divorce proceedings had commenced, the wife visited the husband, then living with someone else, and stabbed him. She now appealed an order for maintenance reduced because of her conduct.
Held: The conduct was clearly gross and obvious, . .
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 . .
W appealed against orders in ancillary relief proceedings saying that the award made to her husband was excessive. . .
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 Court was asked: ‘In circumstances in which at the time of a divorce a spouse, say a wife, is awarded capital which enables her to purchase a home but later she exhausts the capital by entry into a series of unwise transactions and so develops a . .
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 . .
The husband had obtained a decree absolute of divorce against his wife. The matrimonial home had been conveyed to them jointly. He remarried and applied to the court for variation of the post-nuptial settlement. He died before the application was . .
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 decision of the Court of Appeal in Jenkins v. Livesey (formerly Jenkins) … is a reminder that in all cases where application is made for a financial provision or property adjustment order the court is required to have before it an agreed . .
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 . .
The claimant sought provision under the 1975 Act from the estate of his deceased wife. . .
UTIAC Whilst the Private International Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 amended section 11(d) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 so that a potentially polygamous marriage would not be void if either party . .
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 wife said that she had not got a good bargain in an agreement settling ancillary relief applications.
Held: The court must have regard to s.25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act, but also to: ‘Conduct of the parties in all the circumstances . . . .
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. . .
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 . .
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). . .
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 parties, foreign nationals, had married abroad. The came to live here, but H returned in 1996. W sought to pre-empt proceedings abroad by divorcing here getting a decree nisi. She began ancillary relief proceedings, and was awarded maintenance . .
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 . .
The court examined its jurisdiction to hear an appeal on an ancillary relief application where one party had remarried. . .
A husband earning pounds 41,000 per year had been ordered to pay maintenance to his wife at pounds 18,000pa and for children at pounds 7956pa reduced to half his earnings at pounds 1,000 per month. There is a need always to judge the award against . .
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 . .
H had been granted a divorce on the grounds of W’s adultery. The court considered how the clean break provisions could be incorporated in a situation with children and how conduct might affect periodical payments.
Held: The duty to consider a . .
In an ancillary relief action it had been anticipated that the husband would at a future time inherit a substantial amount. An order was made but an express order for a capital sum was adjourned. The wife then remarried, and later, and after the . .
The parties disputed an ancillary relief claim on their divorce. The husband had been suicidally depressed. The wife had committed adultery over a long time and also assisted her husband’s failed suicide. The husband now sought to rely upon her . .
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. . .
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 . .
Appeal from order setting aside decree absolute of divorce – finding of fraud as to length of separation. . .
The couple being joint tenants of the matrimonial home had applied for its purchase form the Council. Divorce proceedings commenced and she purported to terminate the joint tenancy. He applied to set aside the notice, and the Local Authority . .
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 . .
In the case of an application under the Act by a surviving spouse, maintenance is not the only, or even the dominant, consideration to be taken into account by the court. ‘In an application under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 the . .
A marriage celebrated outside England under a system of law permitting polygamy is not to be regarded as polygamous for the purpose of s.11(d) (or presumably for other purposes) if neither spouse had capacity to enter into a second marriage, such . .
The court has no power to dismiss an applicant’s claim for periodical payments against her will. . .
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 . .
Where W had substantial capital assets, but little income, and the husband’s position was the reverse, it was not open to her to plead that a divorce should be refused on the grounds of exceptional hardship. Loss of pension in this case was . .
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 . .
The court was asked whether a wife under an (actually) polygamous marriage, entered into under the rites of the Moslem religion, was competent to give evidence against her husband. It was conceded that ‘in English law generally’ the lady was not the . .
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 . .
Both parties sought a variation of a maintenance order. The former husband sought to be allowed to pay a sufficient capital sum to his former wife to commute the payment in her favour.
Held: Provided the sum could be paid and the result would . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
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 . .
A bigamist is unable to claim ancillary relief in the second marriage; would be against public policy. Since bigamy was a serious crime which undermined fundamental notions of monogamous marriage, the Court would not as a matter of public policy . .
Judge did not make pensions ear-marking order based on transfer value. Provision for divorced spouse could be kept alive by judge refusing to dismiss claim under Inheritance Act. . .
The court was asked whether it is fair in all the circumstances for the court to make an order on a claim by a former husband for a financial remedies order against his former wife under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and, if so, the form and . .
The court considered issues about the application of, and the relationship between, the principles of need, sharing and compensation in the determination of financial claims under the 1973 Act, specifically: (i) Is an earning capacity capable of . .
1267 – 1278 – 1285 – 1297 – 1361 – 1449 – 1491 – 1533 – 1677 – 1688 – 1689 – 1700 – 1706 – 1710 – 1730 – 1737 – 1738 – 1751 – 1774 – 1792 – 1793 – 1804 – 1814 – 1819 – 1824 – 1828 – 1831 – 1832 … Continue reading Acts
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
The court considered an application for ancillary relief. The assets were substantial, but before the judge was to deliver his judgment he accepted evidence from the husand that the sale of his business had fallen through and H’s income . .
An accountant’s professional privilege was overborne by the court, and a wider disclosure was approved. The court set a wide boundary around the scope of the documents which he was ordering the wife’s accountant to produce: ‘If the boundary is set . .
References:  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
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
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
The parties were involved in substantial ancillary relief disputes. W now complained that H had charged his only asset within the jurisdiction, the house in which she lived, to secure his legal fees. She had already asserted a claim against it within the proceedings. The Court had already found that H had failed to disclose … Continue reading ABC v PM and Another: FC 5 Mar 2015
The parties had a long marriage. They had acquired or inherited substantial assets, some of which had been placed in trusts. W had left and had affairs. She sought ancillary relief. Held: The wife’s behaviour was not to be considered as a separate factor under section 25, but was still part of the picture of … Continue reading E v E (Financial Provision): FD 1990
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
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
H was the respondent in the divorce. He applied for a decree nisi to be made absolute. W opposed because, she said, she would lose her rights under the 1975 Act. She also alleged non-disclosure in the ancillary relief proceedings. Held: Even if this much was proved, H’s suggested departure from the country in an … Continue reading Re G (Decree Absolute: Prejudice): FD 2002
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
Claim by adult son for provision – jurisdiction to make order. Lord Justice Moylan  EWCA Civ 1572 Bailii, Judiciary Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 27 England and Wales Family Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.669058
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
murphyFD1407 The parties had compromised most parts of their ancillary relief claim, but not all, settling capital claims, but not issues as to whether maintenance should be stepped down, and should be limited in time to the period of education of the children. Held: The part settlement left the court in an uncomfortable situation, because … Continue reading Murphy v Murphy: FD 4 Jul 2014
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
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
Financial Relief for Adult son – No Jurisdiction Adult but vulnerable son seeking financial relief against married and cohabiting parents. Held: Refuse Sir James Munby  EWFC 63,  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
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
Letter Without Prejudice Save as to Costs Husband and wife disputed provision under 1973 Act, and a summons under section 17 of the 1882 Act. The wife had offered to transfer a house to H occupied by his mother, worth about pounds 12,000, in return for him leaving the matrimonial home. He refused the offer … Continue reading Calderbank v Calderbank: CA 5 Jun 1975
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
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
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
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
Maintenance in England, divorce in Scotland H disputed the right of W to seek maintenance before and English court, saying that the parties had mostly lived in Scotland, and the divorce was being conducted there. Held: (Wilson, Hales LL dissenting) H’s appeal failed. The divorce and the maintenance action were distinct, and the European Regulations … Continue reading Villiers v Villiers: SC 1 Jul 2020
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
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