Robinson v Robinson (Practice Note): CA 2 Jan 1982

The husband was a serving soldier who had had various postings abroad. The wife returned home, where she discovered that she was pregnant. He followed her home, but she left him, and applied for maintenance. The justices found that she had deserted him, and that her behaviour was ‘gross and obvious misconduct’ and reduced her maintenance award accordingly. She appealed from a refusal of the divisional court to vary the order.
Held: Her appeal was dismissed. The justices had found behaviour sufficient to offend a reasonable man’s sense of justice if not allowed to affect the order. Referring to West v West, Waller LJ said: ‘There is, however, an important point of difference in that in West v. West the judge found that the husband had to accept a share of the responsibility for the breakdown or failure to start the marriage, although by far and away the greater burden was on the wife. In the present case the husband was said to be blameless. In my opinion there is very little to choose between them. For the husband to be blameless is an unusual feature and the fact that the marriage broke down in just over four years does not make the case so different when this feature is taken into account. This is not the kind of case that Ormrod J. refers to when he says in Wachtel v. Wachtel [1973] Fam. 72, 80B: ‘ generally speaking, the causes of breakdown are complex and rarely to be found wholly or mainly on one side…”

Waller LJ
[1983] Fam 52, [1982] 2 WLR 146
Domestic Proceedings and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1978 2(1)(a) 3(1)(g)
England and Wales
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 . .
CitedWest v West 1977
. .

Cited by:
CitedMcGladdery v McGladdery CA 21-Jul-1999
A husband having been ordered to transfer his shares in a private company to his wife, found that she had breached the undertaking she had given as part of the order, and had used her majority shareholding to dispose of company assets out of the . .
CitedKyte v Kyte CA 22-Jul-1987
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 . .
CitedXydhias v Xydhias CA 21-Dec-1998
The principles of contract law are of little use when looking at the course of negotiations in divorce ancillary proceedings. In the case of a dispute the court must use its own discretion to determine whether agreement had been reached. Thorpe LJ . .
CitedABC v PM and Another FC 5-Mar-2015
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 . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 27 December 2021; Ref: scu.223618