North v North: CA 25 Jul 2007

The husband appealed a consent order for payment of pounds 202,000 to commute a varied nominal maintenance order. The original order had been made many years before. In the meantime, the former husband had grown wealthy, and she had suffered financially from her own actions. The judge had varied then capitalised the maintenance required.
Held: ‘In any application under section 31 the Applicant’s needs are likely to be the dominant or magnetic factor. But it does not follow that the respondent is inevitably responsible financially for any established needs. He is not an insurer against all hazards nor, when fairness is the measure, is he necessarily liable for needs created by the applicant’s financial mismanagement, extravagance or irresponsibility . . Thus in the present case the wife’s failure to utilise her earning potential, her subsequent abandonment of the secure financial future provided for her by the husband, her choice of a more hazardous future in Australia, together with her lifestyle choices in Australia, were all productive of needs which she had generated and for which the husband should not as a matter of fairness be held responsible in law. ‘ The court made a substitutional order reducing substantially the capital sum payable by the former husband.
Thorpe LJ, May LJ, Bennett J
[2007] EWCA Civ 760, Times 17-Aug-2007, [2007] 2 FCR 601, [2008] 1 FLR 158, [2008] Fam Law 508, [2007] All ER (D) 386
England and Wales
CitedRose v Rose CA 20-Feb-2002
The parties married in 1984, and divorced in 2000. They had two children. The husband had a substantial fortune. In ancillary relief proceedings, at the financial dispute resolution hearing, the judge indicated what order was on his mind, the . .
CitedEdgar v Edgar CA 23-Jul-1980
H and W separated and in 1976, without any pressure H and at the instigation of W, signed a deed of separation negotiated through solicitors. H agreed to purchase a house for W, to confer on her capital benefits worth approximately andpound;100,000, . .
CitedDipper v Dipper CA 1980
The court has no power to dismiss an applicant’s claim for periodical payments against her will. . .
CitedPearce v Pearce CA 28-Jul-2003
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 . .
CitedPiglowska v Piglowski HL 24-Jun-1999
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:
CitedMills v Mills SC 18-Jul-2018
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 31 July 2021; Ref: scu.258392