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H v H: FD 27 Nov 2014

Application under section 27 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973: ‘That section of the act was recently described in the Supreme Court as ‘moribund’. This case has demonstrated that that is not necessarily the case.’ Judges: Booth HHJ Citations: [2015] EWHC B24 (Fam) Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 27 Jurisdiction: England and Wales … Continue reading H v H: FD 27 Nov 2014

Crown Prosecution Service v Richards and Richards: CA 27 Jun 2006

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

White v Withers Llp and Dearle: CA 27 Oct 2009

The claimant was involved in matrimonial ancillary relief proceedings. His wife was advised by the defendants, her solicitors, to remove his private papers. The claimant now sought permission to appeal against a strike out of his claim against the solicitors for wrongful interference with property by ‘possessing, taking or intercepting the claimant’s correspondence and documents … Continue reading White v Withers Llp and Dearle: CA 27 Oct 2009

S v S (Matrimonial Proceedings: Appropriate Forum) (Divorce: Staying Proceedings): FD 27 Mar 1997

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

Acts

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

Villiers v Villiers: SC 1 Jul 2020

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

Harb v King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Another: CA 9 Nov 2005

The wife sought to continue her claim for ancillary relief despite the death of her husband, the former King of Saudi Arabia. Held: The court’s jurisdiction over the King had been challenged. However the claimants claim now abated on the death of the king, and could not proceed: ‘a claim for financial provision between living … Continue reading Harb v King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and Another: CA 9 Nov 2005

Moody v Stevenson: CA 12 Jul 1991

The widower aged 81, appealed against refusal of provision under the 1975 Act from his wife’s estate. She had left him nothing. The judge at first instance had found, applying Styler, that her treatment was not unreasonable, and that therefore no jurisdiction to make an award arose. Held: The court considered the application of section … Continue reading Moody v Stevenson: CA 12 Jul 1991

C v C: FD 29 Nov 2005

The court considered the practice on giving without notice orders. Judges: Munby J Citations: [2005] EWHC 2741 (Fam), [2006] Fam Law 353, [2006] 1 FLR 936 Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 37 Jurisdiction: Northern Ireland Family Updated: 21 July 2022; Ref: scu.279012

Whitehouse-Piper v Stokes: CA 15 Jul 2008

The court examined its jurisdiction to hear an appeal on an ancillary relief application where one party had remarried. Judges: Thorpe LJ, Wall LJ, Stanley Burnton LJ Citations: [2008] EWCA Civ 1049, [2009] 1 FLR 983, [2009] Fam Law 184 Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 28(3) Jurisdiction: England and Wales Citing: Cited – … Continue reading Whitehouse-Piper v Stokes: CA 15 Jul 2008

Wilkinson v Kitzinger and Another: FD 12 Apr 2006

The petitioner intended to seek a declaration as to her marital status. She and the respondent had married in a civil ceremony in British Columbia in 2003. She sought a declaration of incompatibility with regard to section 11(3) of the 1973 Act so far as it failed to recognise same sex marriages. She now sought … Continue reading Wilkinson v Kitzinger and Another: FD 12 Apr 2006

Charman v Charman: CA 20 Dec 2005

The court considered orders to third parties abroad to produce docments for use in ancillary relief proceedings. The husband had built up considerable assets within an offshore discretionary trust. The court was asked whether these were family assets. Held: Asking what would be the approach of an English court, a request would not be met … Continue reading Charman v Charman: CA 20 Dec 2005

A v B (Ancillary relief: Separation agreement): FD 17 Jan 2005

The husband appealed against an ancillary relief order, saying that the judge had applied the terms of a separation agreement without acknowledging that that agreement had been entered into without full disclosure having been made. Had the judge looked properly at the issues identified in the Act, the order would have been different. Held: The … Continue reading A v B (Ancillary relief: Separation agreement): FD 17 Jan 2005

Ganesmoorthy v Ganesmoorthy: CA 16 Oct 2002

The parties had divorced. The wife alleged a serious assault against her husband, and instructed a claims firm to recover damages from him. Her ancillary relief claim in the divorce was compromised with her having sought to rely upon the assault, but without mentioning having instructed the claims firm. The husband resisted these proceedings for … Continue reading Ganesmoorthy v Ganesmoorthy: CA 16 Oct 2002

Moorhead v Moorhead: ChNI 11 Jan 2002

The deceased’s widow complained that her husband’s will had not made proper provision for her as was required by the order which ‘ In the case of a spouse reasonable financial provision means such financial provision as it would be reasonable in all the circumstances of the case for a husband or wife to receive, … Continue reading Moorhead v Moorhead: ChNI 11 Jan 2002

Newlon Housing Trust v Alsulaimen and Another: HL 29 Jul 1998

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 proceedings issued by the landlord could … Continue reading Newlon Housing Trust v Alsulaimen and Another: HL 29 Jul 1998

Hildebrand v Hildebrand: 1992

The parties in ancillary relief proceedings sought orders for discovery. H had been to the wife’s flat surreptitiously on five occasions, and taken photocopies of so many documents obtained by him in the course of those visits (but returned after photocopying) that the photocopies themselves would now ‘fill a crate’, as the judge was told. … Continue reading Hildebrand v Hildebrand: 1992

G v G (Maintenance Pending Suit: Costs): FD 2003

The court considered the argument that a wife’s maintenance pending suit should be limited to her reasonable needs: ‘I do not accept that argument for the following reasons. The purpose of the 1970 Act was to change statutory provisions that were outdated and inadequate and to make a new start. Although the word ‘maintenance’ was … Continue reading G v G (Maintenance Pending Suit: Costs): FD 2003

H v H (Financial Provision: Conduct): 1994

Citations: [1994] 2 FLR 801, [1994] 2 FCR 1031 Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 25(2)(g) Cited by: Cited – 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 … Continue reading H v H (Financial Provision: Conduct): 1994

Waggott v Waggott: CA 11 Apr 2018

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 being a matrimonial asset to which the sharing principle applies and in the product of which, as a … Continue reading Waggott v Waggott: CA 11 Apr 2018

Wilkinson v Kitzinger and others: FD 31 Jul 2006

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

Bellinger v Bellinger: HL 10 Apr 2003

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

Rossi v Rossi: FD 26 Jun 2006

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

H M Customs and Excise and Another v MCA and Another; A v A; Re MCA: CA 22 Jul 2002

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

Grasso v Naik (Twenty-One Irregular Divorces): FD 8 Nov 2017

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

Judge v Judge and others: CA 19 Dec 2008

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

V v W: FC 2 Dec 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

Goodwin v The United Kingdom: ECHR 11 Jul 2002

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

Piglowska 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 reluctant to allow repeated appeals … Continue reading Piglowska v Piglowski: HL 24 Jun 1999

Wyatt v Vince: SC 11 Mar 2015

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

Radmacher v Granatino: CA 2 Jul 2009

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

Stodgell v Stodgell FD: FD 18 Jul 2008

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

Sharland v Sharland: SC 14 Oct 2015

The Court considered the impact of fraud upon a financial settlement agreed between divorcing parties where that agreement is later embodied in a court order? Does ‘fraud unravel all’, as is normally the case when agreements are embodied in court orders, or is there some special magic about orders made in matrimonial proceedings, which means … Continue reading Sharland v Sharland: SC 14 Oct 2015

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, restricting his ancillary relief. Held: H’s appeal failed (Lady Hale dissenting). Separation agreements … Continue reading Radmacher (Formerly Granatino) v Granatino: SC 20 Oct 2010

Her Majesty’s Attorney General v Akhter and Another: CA 14 Feb 2020

Islamic Nikah Ceremony did not create a marriage The parties had undertaken, in 1998, an Islamic marriage ceremony, a Nikah. They both knew at the time that to be effective in UK law, there would need to be a civil ceremony, and intended but did not achieve one. The parties having settled their dispute, the … Continue reading Her Majesty’s Attorney General v Akhter and Another: CA 14 Feb 2020

Hall v Hall: CA 1984

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, . .

More Recent Cases

This is a continuation of the list of significant recent cases on our front page. As a most recent case pushes its way to the top, the last on teh front page falls into here. Newest significant cases.

Thomas v Thomas: CA 2 May 1995

H was a wealthy businessman, but, as a member of Lloyds, he had been required to charge the family home to secure potential liabilities. Also, the company of which he was managing director had always paid out only smaller sums by way of dividends, . .

Wicks v Wicks: CA 29 Dec 1997

A court has no power to make an interim order for the purchase of a house for the wife and children pending determination of the overall ancillary application. The result sought by the wife could have been achieved by application under section 17 of . .