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 not do this.
Held: ‘Ancillary relief proceedings are quasi-inquisitorial and the judge is never confined by what the parties elect to put in evidence or by whatever they may agree to exclude from evidence. ‘ W argued that ‘as a matter of principle and construction allegations of conduct in ancillary relief could only be advanced under s25(2)(g) and if that sub-section was excluded by agreement or concession then conduct could not be introduced as an aspect of any other of the statutory criteria. Thus it was not open to a party to disavow s25(2)(g) and then contend that the other spouse’s contribution, which s25 (2)(f) requires the court to assess, was valueless or devalued because of attitude or conduct.’


Lord Justice Thorpe Lord Justice Wall and Mrs Justice Black


[2005] EWCA Civ 984, [2005] 2 FCR 713, [2005] Fam Law 766, (2005) 102(33) LSG 24




Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 25(2)(g)


England and Wales


See AlsoM v M (Financial Relief: Substantial Earning Capacity) FD 29-Mar-2004
The parties had been married for 12 years, there were three children, one with special needs, and assets of over 12 million pounds. The court considered the application for ancillary relief. It was substantially agreed that the wife should receive . .
CitedS v S 1976
Ancillary relief in marriage of short duration. . .
CitedH v H 1981
Ancillary relief – short marriage. . .
CitedRobertson v Robertson FD 1982
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 . .
CitedBrett v Brett 1969
Ancillary relief where ‘this marriage only lasted a very short time’ . .
CitedHedges v Hedges CA 1991
The parties were middle aged, without children and the marriage was of short duration. W had worked throughout. H lived in tied accomodation, but had purchased a property as an investment and safeguard if he should lose the tied accomodation. W . .
CitedWhite 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 . .
CitedH v H (Financial Provision: Conduct) 1994
. .
CitedG 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. . .
CitedWells v Wells CA 20-Mar-2002
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 . .
CitedWachtel v Wachtel CA 8-Feb-1973
The court described the 1969 and 1970 Acts as ‘a reforming statute designed to facilitate the granting of ancillary relief in cases where marriages have been dissolved . . We regard the provisions of sections 2,3, 4 and 5 of the Act of 1970 as . .
CitedWells v Wells FD 2001
Where a party alleges that the other has made a nil contribution to the welfare of the family, the case must be advanced under s25(2)(g). . .
CitedCordle v Cordle CA 15-Nov-2001
The former practice in ancillary relief applications where a circuit judge hearing an appeal from a district judge could admit new evidence and hear the case de novo should not survive the new rules, and should cease. An appeal to the circuit judge . .
CitedFoster v Foster CA 16-Apr-2003
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. . .
CitedBarder v Barder; Barder v Caluori HL 1988
Later Event no ground to appeal from consent order
The matrimonial home had been owned jointly by the husband and wife. In divorce proceedings, an order was made by consent that the husband should transfer his interest in the home to the wife within 28 days. Before the order had been executed, the . .
CitedMartin v Martin CA 10-Mar-1977
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 . .
CitedPiglowska 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 . .

Cited by:

CitedFielden, Graham (Executors of Cunliffe deceased) v Cunliffe CA 6-Dec-2005
The will was executed anticipating the marriage to the respondent, leaving assets on discretionary trusts for the responent and various family members and others. She had come to work for the deceased as his housekeeper, but later they came to . .
Appeal fromMiller 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 03 February 2022; Ref: scu.229092