Conduct: Changing the blame game?

Rachel Freeman examines the impact of conduct within financial remedy proceedings and how revised costs provisions have added to the pressure to negotiate reasonably That a spouse’s bad behaviour will be disregarded in the financial settlement is already a bitter pill for some clients to swallow, yet now they are under more pressure to come …
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Financial provision: Few and far between

Andrew Smith argues that, despite appearances, compensation awards arising from a relationship-generated disadvantage are unlikely to be commonplace following RC v JC The wife’s health had a significant bearing on her earning capacity for the foreseeable future, to the extent that Moor J would not ascribe her an earning capacity. In RC v JC [2020], …
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Financial provision: Not-so-special

Catherine Doherty examines the approach to stellar contributions and whether such arguments are now largely obsolete ‘The Court of Appeal felt that it could only determine that there was not such a disparity in the parties’ respective contributions that it would be inequitable to disregard them when deciding what award to make.’ The decision of …
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Pensions: Lessons to be learnt

Andrew Smith highlights the first reported decision in which the Pension Advisory Group report has impacted on the approach of the court to pension assets ‘In the first reported case to feature specific reference to the PAG report, the judge drew heavily on the opinions within that report, stating that it should “be treated as …
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In practice: The winds of change

Suzanne Todd examines family law developments during the millennium so far and what the future holds ‘It is essential for family lawyers to have a bank of highly regarded therapists, counsellors and coaches to whom they can refer clients to ensure that they have the expert advice that they need.’ The 21st century has seen …
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Financial provision: Towards a clean break

Camilla Thornton considers the approach to earning capacity and the application of the sharing principle post-Waggott ‘The sharing of an income stream is unprincipled and periodical payments should only be ordered to meet needs and rarely compensation.’ O’Dwyer v O’Dwyer [2019] is the first reported case to specifically apply the principles laid out by the …
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Pensions: Equality or not?

James Copson looks at the recommendations in the Pension Advisory Group report and highlights the potential pitfalls when dealing with pension assets ‘It is much harder to achieve a fair outcome where there is a significant difference in the ages of the parties.’ An understanding of pensions is a must for every family lawyer working …
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Inheritance claims: Looking to the future

Simon Blain and Hannah Mantle consider whether nuptial agreements have a role to play as to the division of assets on death ‘Where such a qualifying agreement purports to preclude claims being made pursuant to I(PFD)A 1975, such a provision is likely to weigh heavily in the court’s decision-making process.’ Provision may be made within …
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Liabilities: A question of obligation

Rupi Rai reviews the courts’ treatment of debts in financial proceedings, particularly in cases involving family loans ‘The courts consider the steps taken by all parties when money is loaned very carefully, together with the behaviour of parties after the money is loaned, and when and why the loan is recalled.’ The family courts are …
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Martin v Martin [2018] EWCA Civ 2866

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2019 #174

A company was incorporated by the husband and a friend in 1978 as equal shareholders. The husband and wife started living together in 1986, and married in 1989. At this point, the husband acquired 99% of the shares and the wife 1%. They separated in 2015.

On a wife’s application for a financial remedy order, the judge found that the capital assets were £182m in properties and pension funds, and 100% of the shares in a private company, which he valued at £221m before tax and costs of sale. He found that 80% of the company’s value was marital property, by applying a str...