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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In practice: Conflicting views

Chrissie Cuming Walters highlights the dichotomy of modern family law on financial provision: autonomy versus paternalism ‘The fairness of provision in any nuptial agreement entered into is likely to erode over time and potentially be subsumed by changing circumstances through the passage of time, allowing for an increased use of paternalism.’ Many practitioners would agree …
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Marital agreements: Proceed with caution

Joe Ailion highlights a case in which, inter alia, a lack of legal advice in relation to a pre-marital agreement did not protect a dissenting party ‘It would be impractical, and prohibitively expensive, for parties to obtain advice in any of the multiple possible matrimonial regimes in which a “globe-trotting” couple may divorce.’ In a …
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Pre-nuptial agreements: A balancing act

James Ferguson and Katie Male look at the courts’ approach to the weight to be given to a pre-nuptial agreement freely entered into by the parties, and the need for overarching fairness ‘Roberts J had to address the question of what “needs” means in circumstances where a pre-nuptial agreement has been entered into, the purpose …
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Estate planning: The importance of autonomy

James Ferguson, Katie Male and Mark Lindley discuss a recent case that demonstrates the growing role of pre-nuptial contracts in estate planning ‘As a general rule the provision for the spouse in the will should be at least as generous as in the pre-nuptial agreement (PNA), if not more so, to minimise exposure to a …
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Pre-nups and private client: Take note

Mark Pawlowski considers a recent decision on the enforceability of pre-nuptial agreements ‘It was essential that both parties should have entered into the agreement of their own free will without undue influence, fraud or misrepresentation, and with a full appreciation of its implications.’ The recent Court of Appeal decision in Versteegh v Versteegh [2018] has …
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KA v MA
 Neutral citation: [2018] EWHC 499 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2018 #171

When the parties met in July 2000, they had both been previously married. In the husband’s case, a difficult divorce caused him to set his face against remarriage. He had three sons who spent significant periods of time with their father in a substantial property near Reading (Property G) which had a value of £3.35m. He (together with his brother) had a successful business in international travel and tourism, owning 51% of the shares in the company valued at £30m. The wife, who had no children, had two rented properties with a combined equity of £245,615. By the time she moved into Prope...

Akhter v Khan [2018] EWFC 54

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2018 #173

Mrs Akhter (A) and Mr Khan (K) underwent an Islamic marriage ceremony in England in 1998. They then considered themselves husband and wife and were treated as such by their families, community and state authorities. They had four children. Despite requests by A no civil ceremony was ever undertaken. The parties lived in Dubai between 2005 and 2011 and were treated as married by the UAE authorities, to whom they presented their Islamic marriage certificate.

A petitioned for divorce in 2016. K applied to strike out the petition on the basis that the parties had not entered a valid m...

Law reform: Ending the ‘meal ticket for life‘?

Teresa Cullen and Anna Wakeling explore proposals to reform financial provision on divorce, and the potential impact of such measures ‘Critics argue that the Bill appears in part to be a reaction to “big money“ cases, and an attempt to restrict disproportionate financial awards, however, these are a very small minority of cases and in …
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