An recent everyday financial case08/08/2022
This is a case which had the parties negotiated in Mediation with www.Essexmediationonline.co.uk or www.Londonmediationonline.co.uk,. They would have a saved time money and stress of going to court and the outcome would have been in their control
Case: X v C  EWFC 79
In relation to the assets to be distributed there was:
- Equity in the marital home, in the husband’s name of approx. £250,000
- Equity in the wife’s previous marital home of approx. £95,000
- Land in the husband’s name, allegedly gifted to his son worth £45,000
- A health service pension in the wife’s name with a CETV of approx. £230,000
- Various vehicles and number plates owned by the husband, with a contested
- value and also allegedly gifted to the son.
The wife had proposed that the marital home be sold and the husband receive £50,000
with each keeping other assets in sole names and nominal term spousal maintenance.
The husband had proposed a clean break with the wife receiving a £25,000 lump sum to
settle her interest in the home and each keeping assets in sole names.
In reaching his decision the judge made findings in relation to;
- How the former marital home should be considered (no consideration of husband’s
deposit as the full amount is required to meet needs)
- How to treat the wife’s previous marital home (pre-marital by definition and not
realisable for the purposes of purchasing an alternative property at present)
- Whether certain assets in the husband’s name should be excluded (no evidence of
gifting but vehicles and number plates probably over-valued by wife and valued at
£25,000 by the court)
- How to treat the pension in the wife’s name (a linear calculation of £70,000 being
the period of the marriage in relation to the total pension years)
- The mortgage capacity of each party (negligible for the wife given her name on the
previous marital home and sizeable debts, significant but unquantified for the
husband given the poor information he provided)
Litigation conduct (the husband has clearly prolonged the case through a range of
- delaying tactics, the most egregious of which was a false claim of having Covid).
The judge also considered s.25 factors, namely the welfare of any child of the family; the
income, earning capacity, property and other financial resources of the parties; the needs
and obligations of the parties; the age of each party and duration of the marriage; the
contributions made by each party; and conduct of the parties.
The outcome, based on this being a ‘needs’ case and striving for fairness was an order
- The marital home to be sold and the proceeds divided so that the wife receives
60% and the husband 40%
- The wife retains her interest in her former family home
- The husband retains the land, vehicles and number plates in his sole name
The wife retains her pension
- A clean break in relation to all claims
In relation to costs the judge acknowledged that the husband’s conduct had met the
threshold for an order to be made. However, given that the overall distribution had
addressed the wife’s liabilities, many of which related to the costs of proceedings, he
limited the costs order to paying the wife’s costs for the hearing cancelled for the
husband’s alleged Covid assessed at £4,000.
This is a case where the capital either just meets the needs of the parties or is insufficient
to meet those needs depending on the decisions made in relation to the needs of each
party and the assets to be included. It has been published because there is a lack of
reported financial remedy cases in which the individuals involved are not either wealthy
or extremely so.
The wife was the applicant who was represented and the respondent husband was self-
representing with the support of a McKenzie Friend.
The wife is aged 46, a senior nursing sister working 28.7 hours a week on a salary of
approx. £35,000, plus Universal Credit, child benefit and child maintenance. She is living
in rented accommodation with three daughters aged 19, 17 and 13 years from a previous
marriage in a 50:50 shared care arrangement and the child of the second marriage aged
- Her previous husband remained in the family home which continues to be jointly
owned. The wife has significant debt – approx. £44,000 in credit cards and loans and
approx. £33,000 from family and friends, largely accrued in legal costs although some
related to a shortfall between income and outgoings.
The husband is aged 50 and works in IT on a salary of approx. £70,000 a year. He is still
living in the former family home with two grown up children from a former marriage – both
in their twenties and working full time. Another child from that relationship, also in her 20s
is living independently. The husband currently has no contact with the 7-year-old child of
the marriage and there are parallel Children Act proceedings underway in relation to this.
He has debts of approx. £11,000 being a loan to settle a joint debt – which is
They were married in the spring of 2013 having lived together for six months and
separated in October 2019 when the wife made allegations of domestic abuse. These
were not taken into account in the financial proceedings although the court took care to
follow the special measures for cross examination (questions provided to the judge by the
husband) and screens for the wife.
The husband petitioned for divorce in October 2019 and Decree Absolute was issued in
the spring of 2020. The wife started the financial proceedings in February 2020 and the
first hearing was set for September 2020 which was cancelled as the respondent did not
provide his Form E. He subsequently ignored directions and did not file his Form E until
June 2021. An FDR was held in the summer of 2021 when further directions were made
to provide statements dealing with conduct, valuations, updating disclosure and s.25
statements for a final hearing in April 2022. The husband did not comply, there was an
interim hearing, the date of the final hearing was brought forward to January, the
husband continued not to comply and appealed for more time, his appeal was rejected
twice and on the day before the hearing he said he had tested positive, on a lateral flow
test, for Covid. A subsequent PCR test was negative. The matter finally reached court on
11 th and 13 th April.