Special contributions: Consigned to history?

Lisa Churchill highlights how the approach to special contributions has changed over the years and how such contributions have been quantified by the courts The courts are seemingly now more cautious in departing from equality due to the special contribution of one party. Special contribution in a marriage has often been a difficult argument to …
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Cowan v Foreman [2019] EWHC 349 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Summer 2019 #175

The claimant applied for an order under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act), s2, against the estate of her deceased husband (the deceased). Probate of the deceased’s will was granted on 16 December 2016 and the application was made on 8 November 2018. Under s4 of the 1975 Act, except with the permission of the court any application for an order under s2 was to be made within six months of the date of the grant. This was an application for permission to make the substantive application out of t...

The 1975 Act: The clock is ticking… or is it?

William East reviews two recent cases on out-of-time 1975 Act claims with different outcomes ‘The decision that “excusable delay” should be for “weeks or, at most, months”, absent “highly exceptional factors”, begs the question of what those factors might be and whether this sets the bar too high given the shortness of the initial time …
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Special contribution: A rare bird

Catherine Doherty asks whether case law has effectively restricted stellar performance arguments to financial contributions only ‘In XW v XH Baker J acknowledged the need to exercise caution with respect to the domestic contribution of the wife, as homemaker, to the welfare of the family.’ Since Cowan v Cowan [2001] was decided by the Court …
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Special Contribution: Exceptional qualities

Lehna Hewitt reviews cases where a special contribution argument has been successful, and the outcome in Work v Gray ‘The Court of Appeal reiterated in Work v Gray that the correct approach is to determine whether a contribution is “wholly exceptional” and did not endorse the use of the word “genius”.’It is possible to depart …
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Financial Provision: Extra special

Claire Reid looks at what is required for the court to conclude that a party has made a stellar contribution ‘The difficulty in comparing different contributions risks discrimination against homemakers. This unfortunate application of the law generates a distasteful distinction in the 21st century.’In Cooper-Hohn v Hohn [2014] one of the principal issues considered by …
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Financial Provision: Sharing the wealth

Richard Adams examines the factors that may justify an unequal division of assets ‘A special contribution should only be taken into account if there was such a disparity in the parties’ respective contributions to the welfare of the family that it would be inequitable to disregard.’ Practitioners will be familiar with the strong feelings that …
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Financial Provision: Time is money

Rebecca Huxford considers the arguments for and against the introduction of a limitation period in financial proceedings ‘There are cases where the applicant may have very good reasons for not bringing the claim earlier, even if the delay is one of many years.’ Unlike most areas of law, limitation periods are unfamiliar territory to family …
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Substantial Assets: Setting ground rules

Max Lewis looks at the lessons to be learnt from Evans v Evans on managing expectations, contributions and add-back argument The court retains jurisdiction to decide the true nature of an order and must assess what the parties agreed against the ‘objective factual matrix of what occurred during the relevant period’.Moylan J’s judgment in Evans …
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