WA v The Executors of the estate [2015] EWHC 2233 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2015 # 153

Having entered into a pre-nuptial agreement, WA (‘the wife’) married HA (‘the husband’) in 1997. The wife was an heiress and the husband brought modest assets of his own to the marriage. They kept their finances separate. The couple and their three children lived on a very large estate (‘the Z estate’) during the marriage and restored it using the wife’s finances.

The marriage broke down in 2014. Both the wife and husband instructed expert family lawyers which supported the brokerage of an agreement. Following disclosure of their respectiv...

Marital Agreements: A state of uncertainty

Deborah Levy analyses the approach to a marital agreement where needs and conduct were in issue ‘If a prenuptial agreement deals with these matters in a way that a court might adopt then there should be no difficulty with giving effect to the agreement.’The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that in …
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Standard Of Living: Lifestyle factors

Hazel Wright and Phoebe Sutton suggest that despite the provisions of section 25 the standard of living of the parties is becoming less relevant ‘It is hard to see future courts awarding periodical payments based on the standard of living in the great majority of marriages.’When family lawyers of a certain generation die, they will …
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P v P [2015] EWCA Civ 447 On appeal from: [2015] WTLR 1 and [2014] EWHC 2990 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | July/August 2015 #151

A husband and wife met in 1999 and married in 2003. They had one child together, of primary school age at the time of the proceedings. In 2005 the husband and wife moved into a farmhouse owned by the husband’s parents. In 2009 the husband’s parents settled the farmhouse on a discretionary trust for the benefit of their children and remoter descendants. Subject to the power to appoint the capital and income to the discretionary beneficiaries, the farmhouse was held on trust to pay the income to the husband for life, and it was declared that the making of any land comprised wit...

Periodical Payments: Road to independence

Lisa Bray summarises the current case law on joint lives periodical payments orders and considers whether there is an increasing trend towards term orders ‘While the starting point is to put each party on the road to independence, the reality is that in recent years we have seen many judges showing a reluctance to make …
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Financial Provision: Limited consequences?

Frances Bailey and Adrian Clossick look at the potential impact of the Supreme Court decision in Wyatt v Vince ‘Successful applications [for financial provision] after a lengthy period of separation are likely to be rare and in the authors’ view limited to cases where (per Rossi) “there has been a very good reason for the …
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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 …
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Periodical Payments: Short-term solution

Camilla Thornton analyses recent decisions on maintenance and whether joint lives maintenance orders are facing extinction ‘A spousal maintenance award is properly made where the evidence shows that choices made during the marriage have generated hard future needs on the part of the claimant.’ There seems to have been a sea-change in recent years with …
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Financial Provision: Fair shares?

Michael Gouriet and Natalie O’Shea consider the validity of the compensation argument in financial remedy proceedings ‘Do family lawyers need to quantify a client’s potential claims on an “either/or” basis (loss-related and needs-related) so as to be prepared to run the case either way?’ The Court of Appeal judgment in H v H [2014] confirms …
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