Family Law Hub

Financial Provision

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  • In this judgment, HHJ Edward Hess discussed three issues relating to the treatment of pensions upon divorce and considered the opinions of The Pension Advisory Group set out in their report, “A Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce”, published in July 2019. News, 28/05/2020, free
  • The parties lived together for about 20 years before separating, and had five children together, but never married. This was an application from the female partner for an order that the male partner be sanctioned for multiple breaches of a freezing order. He in turn argued that any breach of the freezing order was inadvertent. It was accepted by both parties that the relevant account was left depleted by the sum of £13,015.94. Cobb J found that the male partner's narrative was "simply implausible", and his explanations "contrived and disingenuous". He had treated the account as his personal account. He had breached the freezing order, and the breaches had been knowing and deliberate. Sanctions would be decided at a subsequent hearing. Judgment, 26/05/2020, free
  • The father sought permission to appeal out of time against a district judge's finding of fact that he had abused his daughter. Francis J decided that the findings were so unsafe and their consequences so series that they could not be allowed to stand, despite the exceptional delay in appealing. He noted with surprise the district judge's assertion that the mother's counsel could conduct the cross-examination of the expert witness on behalf of the litigant-in-person father as well as the mother, a suggestion which Francis J said was "incorrect and plainly wrong". The expert had not been cross-examined on his misunderstanding of a previous judgment in the case, and in failing to depart from the expert's view the district judge fell into further error. The procedure adopted was irregular enough to cause injustice within the meaning of FPR Part 30. Permission to appeal out of time was granted, the appeal was allowed and the finding of fact set aside. The matter would be remitted for re-hearing by a High Court judge of the Family Division. Judgment, 19/05/2020, free
  • Webinar to be broadcast on Wednesday 20th May, 1pm-2pm. News, 12/05/2020, free
  • This hearing concerned complex and polarised matrimonial financial proceedings between a husband and wife. She contended that an accountant and/or his various companies owned the ships entirely beneficially for the couple, and that those ships, and the charter fees they generated, were assets falling for appropriate division within the matrimonial financial remedy proceedings. Holman J was not satisfied that there was any real evidence of any deviousness on the part of the accountant or his companies, or any intention by them to try to defeat the claims of the wife. If it was right, as the wife asserted, that the ships were owned beneficially for the couple, then it was in her interests that the current structure remained solvent and afloat. Hence there was no sufficient basis for any injunctions to remain in place, and they were discharged. Judgment, 11/05/2020, free

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