The parties had divorced in Nigeria, but the former wife now sought relief in the UK under section 10 of the 194 Act. The wife said that she lived here, but the order made in Nigeria was severely detrimental requiring her either to live here in poverty or to return to Nigeria against her wishes.
Held: It was not impossible or improper for two jurisdictions to take part in divorce proceedings, and nor was it necessary to apply strictly the forum non conveniens rules. The order requiring the transfer to the wife of a share in the proceeds of sale in the house in London in exchange for abandoning any interest in the property in Nigeria should stand, and it was not necessary to show any exceptional need, though a mere disparity between the orders which might be made in each jurisdiction would not be enough. The 1984 Act was passed to provide this power.
Lord Phillips, President, Lord Rodger, Lady Hale, Lord Collins, Lord Kerr
 1 AC 628,  1 FLR 1813,  UKSC 13,  2 WLR 709,  2 All ER 877,  Fam Law 573,  2 FCR 1, UKSC 2009/0034
Bailii, Times, SC Summary, SC
Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984
England and Wales
See Also – Akinnoye-Agbaje v Akinnoye-Agbaje CA 15-Jun-2007
Renewed application for leave to appeal against order made under 1984 Act. . .
Cited – Indyka v Indyka HL 1969
An English court should recognise a divorce decree granted in a foreign country where there was a real and substantial connection between the petitioner for the divorce and the country exercising the jurisdiction.
Lord Wilberforce said: ‘In my . .
Appeal from – Agbaje v Agbaje CA 20-Jan-2009
The court was asked as to the operation of section 10 of the 1984 Act where the marriage had been dissolved abroad. W had obtained an order under the 1984 Act though the parties had divorced in Nigeria.
Held: Leave was granted and the . .
Cited – Turczak v Turczak 1970
Following a Polish divorce, there was no power to order maintenance under the 1965 Act because the parties were no longer husband and wife. . .
Cited – Torok v Torok 1973
Ormrod J agreed to an application to accelerate the decree absolute of divorce to preserve the court’s jurisdiction to hear a claim for ancillary relief. If a divorce were obtained in Hungary on the basis of the husband’s Hungarian nationality, it . .
Cited – Quazi v Quazi HL 1979
The husband had pronounced a talaq in Pakistan, in accordance with the 1961 Muslim Family Ordinance. The question was whether the English court had jurisdiction on the wife’s petition to dissolve the marriage and make consequential orders relating . .
Cited – A Elaine Jordan v Roy Gregory Jordan Admn 12-Jul-1999
The parties had married and divorced and made a financial settlement in the US, but the husband had returned to live in the UK. The wife now sought in effect to enforce the balance of the US order here. . .
Cited – Tillmanns Butcheries Pty Ltd v Australasian Meat Industry Employees’ Union 1979
(Federal Court of Australia) Deane J interpreted a statute using the word ‘substantial’ saying that it ‘is not only susceptible of ambiguity: it is a word calculated to conceal a lack of precision.’ . .
Mentioned – White v White HL 26-Oct-2000
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 . .
Cited – Barings Bank Plc and Another v Coopers and Lybrand (A Firm) and others CA 18-Jul-2002
Application was made to set aside a leave to appeal in a case where the liquidators of the collapsed bank brought professional negligence claims against its auditors.
Held: The power to set aside leave is only to be exercised where some . .
Cited – Nathan v Smilovitch and Another CA 13-May-2002
Application to set aside leave to appeal.
Held: It is a rare case in which, once permission to appeal has been granted it is appropriate to set it aside. . .
Cited – 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 . .
Cited – A v S (Financial Relief after Overseas US Divorce) 2003
Cited – The Abidin Daver HL 1984
The House considered the application of the doctrine of forum conveniens.
Held: A stay of an English action on the ground of forum non conveniens could be resisted on the ground that justice could not be obtained in the otherwise more . .
Cited – Holmes v Holmes CA 1989
Purchas LJ said: ‘the phrase ‘substantial ground for the making of an application for such an order’ is clearly central to the issues in this application . . [i]n particular when the court comes to consider such an application, it will have to take . .
Cited – Spiliada Maritime Corporation v Cansulex Ltd, The Spiliada HL 1986
Forum Non Conveniens Restated
The House reviewed the authorities on the principle of forum non conveniens and restated how to apply the principle where the defendant seeks a stay of proceedings on the ground that there is another more appropriate forum.
Held: ‘In the . .
Cited – de Dampierre v de Dampierre HL 1988
The existence and state of foreign proceedings are relevant to the exercise of the court’s discretion to stay an action on the ground of forum non conveniens. The essential test on which the court might exercise its discretion to stay the petition . .
Cited – 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, . .
Cited – Traversa v Freddi CA 14-Feb-2011
Jurisdiction in Cross border divorce
The parties had divorced in Italy. After the wife sought possession of her house in London where H lived, he appealed against refusal of leave to apply for an order under the 1984 Act, the court having found insufficient substantial grounds for . .
Cited – Mulcaire v News Group Newspapers Ltd ChD 21-Dec-2011
The claimant, a private investigator had contracted with the News of the World owned by the defendant but since closed. He had committed criminal offences in providing information for the paper, had been convicted and had served his sentence. He . .
Cited – H v S FD 18-Nov-2011
The court was asked whether for the purposes of English divorce and connected proceedings a Talaq pronounced by the respondent husband in Saudi Arabia and placed by Deed of Confirmation before the Sharia Court is entitled to be afforded recognition . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.402570