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Matrimonial and Family Issues




BD v FD 2014 EWHC 4443 - Maintenance Pending Suit


Moylan J found the interim budget to be greater than that necessary to maintain what had been the marital standard of living and accordingly found it excessive.

Wright v Wright 2015 EWCA Civ 201 Court of Appeal (Pitchford LJ)


The emotive descriptions by the newspapers of Lord Justice Pitchford’s judgment in this case (cf theguardian ‘judge tells ex-wife of millionaire horse surgeon: ‘go out to work’ .. ‘Lord Justice Pitchford said ‘divorcees with children aged over seven should work for a living’ and said ‘it was imperative that the wife go out to work and support herself’;) are not contained in the transcript of his judgment. The Court of Appeal did not look at the merits of the parties’ behaviour, but rather whether all these considerations had been adequately considered by the family judge, Her Honour Judge Roberts.


Pitchford LJ had to decide, for the purpose of granting leave to appeal, whether there was a real prospect of establishing HHJ Roberts gave inadequate justification for her conclusion that the husband should no longer be expected to make any provision for the W during his postponed retirement, as contemplated in the 2008 court order. Pitchford LJ found there was not.


SS v NS (Spousal Maintenance) 2015 2 FLR 1124


Mostyn J gives an erudite recap of the law of "needs" based awards - spousal choices which gave rise to hard needs

He confirmed that there was no test of exceptionality to extend a term order.

If in doubt, make the decision in favour of the economically weaker party.

AB v JB (EU Maintenance Regulation: Modification Application Procedure) 2015 EWHC 192


Sir Peter Singer gives a helpful analysis of reciprocal enforcement and modification of maintenance orders of EU courts in England and Wales before striking out with costs the former husband's Form A application. An expensive lesson, worth heeding in a time of increasing cross border divorce.


Vince v Wyatt 2015 UKSC 14


There is no limitation period for making an application for financial provision under the MCA 1973 following divorce, and no summary judgment procedure; the Court must consider the s25(2) factors before dismissing a claim. Although Ms Wyatt faced formidable obstacles in the light of the brevity of the marriage and the passage of time since separation and divorce, her role in raising their child from 2 to 18 years without his assistance, might lay a basis for a modest award under s25(2)f.


The lesson is to ensure that, on divorce, financial claims are resolved or dismissed, before you become a multi millionaire!

Morris v Morris [2016] EWCA Civ 812 - Variation of Maintenance (and committal)


Moylan J's judgment sets out useful guidance on the proportionate approach that courts ought to adopt in respect of variation applications; the court was required to consider matters de novo

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