Tommey v Tommey: FD 1983

W asked the court to set aside a consent financial relief order. She was to transfer her half of the home to H, in return for andpound;8,000 paid by H in settlement of her financial provision. She said that in the negotiations leading up to the agreement H had exercised undue influence over her.
Held: As a matter of law, undue influence was not a good ground to set aside a consent order. She also said that because H had filed no affidavit, the judge had made the order without full knowledge. Balcombe J said: ‘Nor is there substance in another ground, viz. ignorance of relevant facts on the part of the judge. A judge who is asked to make a consent order cannot be compelled to do so: he is no mere rubber stamp. If he thinks there are matters about which he needs to be more fully informed before he makes the order, he is entitled to make such inquiries and require such evidence to be put before him as he considers necessary. But, per contra, he is under no obligation to make inquiries or require evidence. He is entitled to assume that parties of full age and capacity know what is in their own best interests, more especially when they are represented before him by counsel or solicitors. The fact that he was not told facts which, had he known them, might have affected his decision to make a consent order, cannot of itself be a ground for impeaching the order. Accordingly, the wife is not entitled on this ground to have the order of 18 February 1975 set aside.’


Balcombe J


[1983] Fam 15, [1983] 4 FLR 159


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedJenkins v Livesey (formerly Jenkins) HL 1985
The parties had negotiated through solicitors a compromise of ancillary relief claims on their divorce. They agreed that the house should be transferred to the wife in consideration of her release of all other financial claims. The wife however . .
CitedJudge 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 . .
CitedSharland 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 . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Family, Undue Influence

Updated: 07 May 2022; Ref: scu.259835