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:  EWHC B24 (Fam) Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 27 Jurisdiction: England and Wales … Continue reading H v H: FD 27 Nov 2014
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
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
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
The beneficiaries under the will appealed against an order under the 1975 Act, effectively transferring the entire estate to the surviving spouse.
Held: The effect of sections 1, 2 and the other material provisions of the 1975 Act is that on . .
A single member pension fund scheme was a post nuptial settlement within the Act, and was variable by the court on a divorce. No third party would be affected. . .
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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
A section 27 claim cannot be pursued by a surviving spouse. Black J said: ‘It is clearly established that until an ancillary relief order has been made, an ancillary relief claim is not a cause of action. This appears to be because of the discretionary nature of ancillary relief, someone seeking ancillary relief may establish … Continue reading McMinn v McMinn: 2003
Claim by adult son for provision – jurisdiction to make order. Lord Justice Moylan  EWCA Civ 1572 Bailii, Judiciary Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 27 England and Wales Family Updated: 22 November 2021; Ref: scu.669058
Judges: King, Moylan, Rose LJJ Citations:  EWCA Civ 1482,  WLR(D) 489 Links: Bailii, WLRD Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Family Updated: 18 August 2022; Ref: scu.641787
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
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
The court considered the practice on giving without notice orders. Judges: Munby J Citations:  EWHC 2741 (Fam),  Fam Law 353,  1 FLR 936 Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 37 Jurisdiction: Northern Ireland Family Updated: 21 July 2022; Ref: scu.279012
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:  EWCA Civ 1049,  1 FLR 983,  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
Judges: Charles J Citations:  EWHC 2214 (Admin) Links: Bailii Statutes: Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 Jurisdiction: England and Wales Family, Crime Updated: 19 July 2022; Ref: scu.276528
W appealed from rejection of her petition for divorce. The Judge held that the behaviour proved was no more than a wife could reasonably be expected to put up with, and he dismissed the petition. Judges: Cairns, Roskill, Browne LJJ Citations:  EWCA Civ 1,  3 All ER 289,  1 WLR 1118 Links: … Continue reading O’Neill v O’Neill: CA 12 Mar 1975
On the divorce, the husband was ordered to transfer his share in the house to the wife. On his bankruptcy shortly after, the order was confirmed. After the wife sold the property at a profit, the trustee in bankruptcy applied to set the transfer aside as a transaction at an undervalue. Held: The starting point … Continue reading Haines v Hill and Another: CA 5 Dec 2007
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
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
H had been granted a divorce on the grounds of W’s adultery. The court considered how the clean break provisions could be incorporated in a situation with children and how conduct might affect periodical payments. Held: The duty to consider a clean break applies whether or not there are children. The judge had erred in … Continue reading Suter v Suter and Jones: CA 19 Dec 1986
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
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
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
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
A director’s pension scheme could be treated as a post-nuptial marriage settlement where the director was the only scheme member. It was thus a matrimonial asset capable of variation by a court in ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce. The court sought to define a marriage settlement: ‘In the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 settlement is … Continue reading Brooks v Brooks: HL 29 Jun 1995
In the case of an application under the Act by a surviving spouse, maintenance is not the only, or even the dominant, consideration to be taken into account by the court. ‘In an application under section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 the court is directed, so far as it is practicable and is … Continue reading Re Besterman, decd: CA 1984
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
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
The husband and his wife agreed that in consideration, inter alia, of the wife consenting to the husband divorcing her on the ground of two years’ separation and consent, he would transfer the matrimonial home to her, and she would take over responsibility for the mortgage. A decree absolute was made on the husband’s petition … Continue reading Sutton v Sutton: 1984
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 for W during her ill health, but not for life. A lump sum … Continue reading Robertson v Robertson: FD 1982
Citations:  2 FLR 801,  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
H drank excessively and was unemployed. In the divorce he made an application for ancillary relief against the offer from W to share the proceeds of sale of the house equally. Held: H was homeless and unemployed. His behaviour was such as should be taken into account, but his needs required provision of a sum … Continue reading K v K (Ancillary Relief): 1990
The court considered the provision to be made under the 1975 Act for a surviving spouse: ‘In his argument in this court Mr. Vane relied strongly on s 3(2) and referred us to a recent case in this court, Moody v. Stevenson, a decision of Mustill LJ and Waite J which appears to give great … Continue reading Jessop v Jessop: CA 2 Jan 1992
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
W appealed against a financial remedies award achieving equality between herself and H. The marriage had not been a long one and they had no children. W challenged the imposition of an equal sharing principle. Held: W’s appeal succeeded. Section 25 required the court in every case to look at all the circumstances, and the … Continue reading Sharp v Sharp: CA 13 Jun 2017
W appealed against dismissal of her petition for divorce to the effect that her husband had behaved in such a way that she could not reasonably have been expected to live with him. The judge had found H difficult but that his behaviour was not to the level suggested. Held: The appeal succeeded. Applying Livingstone … Continue reading Birch v Birch: CA 22 Oct 1991
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
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
The parties had a long marriage. They had acquired or inherited substantial assets, some of which had been placed in trusts. W had left and had affairs. She sought ancillary relief. Held: The wife’s behaviour was not to be considered as a separate factor under section 25, but was still part of the picture of … Continue reading E v E (Financial Provision): FD 1990
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
(Isle of Man) The parties had signed a post-nuptial agreement. Held: It was not open to the courts to find that such agreements might be enforced. They had been unenforceable under common law, and if the law was to be changed it must be by statute. There was an enormous difference in principle and in … Continue reading Macleod v Macleod: PC 17 Dec 2008
Unreasonable Behaviour must reach criteria W appealed against the judge’s refusal to grant a decree of divorce. He found that the marriage had broken down irretrievably, but did not find that H had behaved iin such a way that she could not reasonably be expected to live with H. Held: W’s appeal failed. ‘What the … Continue reading Owens v Owens: CA 24 Mar 2017
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
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
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
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
H had been paying maintenance to W for many years after the divorce. W now appealed against an order revoking the arrangement without providing a capital sum to replace it. H’s health had declined, and also his earnings. Held: W’s appeal succeeded. W had taken as part of her settlement a desk which was now … Continue reading Vaughan v Vaughan: CA 31 Mar 2010
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
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
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
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
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 relief application on a divorce, the court should include consideration of why any … Continue reading White v White: HL 26 Oct 2000
The claimant sought a decree of divorce. The ceremony had been a religious one in Cape Town. They had intended it to be followed by a ceremony in a register office in England, but this did not happen. The pastor in south Africa said that he had warned them that in the absence of them … Continue reading Hudson v Leigh: FD 5 Jun 2009
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
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
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
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
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, . .
W appealed against orders in ancillary relief proceedings saying that the award made to her husband was excessive. . .
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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, . .
The court was asked to pierce the veil of incorporation of a company in the course of ancillary relief proceedings in a divorce. H had failed to co-operate with the court.
After a comprehensive review of all the authorities, Munby J said: ‘The . .
The parties had been wealthy. Whilst still married, substantial sums had been placed in a trust. Their business interests had crashed and both faced personal bankruptcy. The husband appealed an order setting aside the trust.
Held: A clause in . .
The wife and her second husband occupied a property in the joint names of herself and of her first husband, who, following their divorce, had applied under the Act of 1973 for a lump sum order reflective of his equal beneficial interest in it to be . .
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 . .
The parties had married, but the male partner was a transsexual, having been born female and having undergone treatment for Gender Identity Dysphoria. After IVF treatment, the couple had a child. As the marriage broke down the truth was revealed in . .
The parties appealed an order for the division of the family’s 20 million pound fortune on divorce. The husband argued that his special contribution to the creation of the wealth meant that he should receive a greater share.
Held: The Act gave . .
The parties had lived together as a married couple. They had had a child together by artificial insemination. It was then revealed that Mr J was a woman. The parties split up, and Mr J applied for an order for contact with the child.
Held: The . .