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n a contact case a judge had misremembered the facts of a case and had developed a polarised view of the parties. He had minimised the significance of the domestic violence and failed to have regard to Re L the seminal authority on domestic violence. He failed to have regard to the reporting officer and the experts view as regards the effect the violence had upon the mother. His decision was flawed.
Court: Court Of Appeal (England and Wales)
Appeal by the Wife against orders in ancillary relief proceedings. Appeal allowed.
This case established that a declaration of trust regarding the family home could be upheld therefore making the property unavailable to the husband's creditors. The husband had made a declaration of trust in his wife's favour as she had insisted this be done to protect the family's financial security in the face of his gambling problems. At the time he had no significant debts. The court ruled that the main reason for the declaration of trust being put in place in this instance was to maintain the man's marriage rather than protect his assets from creditors and therefore it was valid.
A shared residence case – the Court of Appeal supported the making of shared residence orders, even where the relationship between the parents was not especially harmonious.
In 2000 a father applied for a 'joint' (ie shared) residence order, arguing that he was being treated as a second-class Parent by authorities with whom he had to deal regarding the provision of information etc about the children. The mother sought a change in the contact pattern. The trial judge accepted the father's case and made a shared residence order. During the summer, problems arose over the children's return to the mother after a holiday abroad and she applied for an order that contact be supervised or suspended. The judge dismissed the application and ordered her to pay the costs of the hearing. The mother appealed.
Financial provision – Divorce – Appeals – Exercise of judge’s discretion – Proportionality of costs
Financial provision – Pension rights – Treatment of pension funds as equal to capital funds – Failure to compare like with like – Husband’s prospect of receiving capital or income from pension fund deferred if not distant
Financial provision – Periodical payments – Fixed term – Application for extension – Court’s obligation to consider bringing financial relations to conclusion – Impact of prolonged cohabitation – Effect of legitimate expectation that obligations would end
Financial provision – Lump sum order – Wealthy husband – Wife cohabiting with man of relatively insubstantial means – Conduct irrelevant – Whether judge justified not taking cohabitation into account - Lump sum – Wife cohabiting with another man – Effect on quantum
Ancillary relief – Whether judge could make periodical payments order for benefit of children – Whether Mesher order to be granted