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Financial remedies: divorce and dissolution of civil partnership

Order in Part III MFPA 1984 proceedings reflects delay in bringing application and existing provision (High Court)

In Stage I of the split final hearing in this case, Roberts J found it was appropriate to grant financial relief under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (MFPA 1984), despite the wife's (W’s) five year delay in bringing proceedings and the existence of a Russian financial order compromising claims worldwide.

See Legal update, Part III MFPA 1984 order appropriate despite 5 year delay in bringing application (High Court).

The husband’s (H’s) financial position had deteriorated between the Stage I and II hearings: he had access to funds of £33 million, rather than £40 million. W revised her proposals downwards. She principally sought the transfer of the family’s London home (KH), worth £4.75 million.

Roberts J found the transfer was unjustified, and awarded W a lump sum of £1,148,480 on a needs basis, restricting the outcome to reflect W’s delay in bringing proceedings, the fact the parties’ wealth emanated from H and the Russian financial order. The award assumed:

W would continue to occupy KH for six years until the parties’ youngest child completed tertiary education.

W already had assets of £4.685 million. W required a London housing fund of £2.5 million, giving her £2.185 million for income generation.

£2.5 million invested in property could produce an annual rental income of £78,000, while W occupied KH.

W's annual income needs were £140,000. Deducting the £78,000 rental income from this figure for six years, meant she required a capitalised maintenance fund of £3,333,480. With £2.185 million to apply towards the fund, W's shortfall was £1,148,480.

Roberts J emphasised the importance of realistic time estimates in Part III MFPA 1984 proceedings, so that the permission and substantive applications can be dealt with in a single hearing, given the inter-relationship between sections 16, 17 and 18.

Case: Z v Z and Others [2016] EWHC 1720 (Fam), 13 July 2016 (Bailii).

This article was originally published on on 13 July 2016 and is reproduced with the permission of Thomson Reuters.

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