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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

20 JUN 2013

Lump sum, Lump sums and Instalments: a brief history

Nathaniel Groarke

Associate Solicitor, Withers LLP

Following the case of Hamilton v Hamilton [2013] EWCA Civ 13, [2013] 1 FLR (forthcoming), this article explores the developments in the law relating to, on the one hand, lump sums and, on the other, lump sums by instalments and the impact of such developments for family law practitioners and, always more importantly, the clients.  

There is a whistle-stop tour through the case law.  For example, right back in 1973, the Court of Appeal in Coleman v Coleman [1973] Fam. 10, made it clear that while the court had the power to make an order for more than one lump sum payment (lump sums) within an order, there could only be one order. This is followed by a review of the Court's powers to vary lump sums by instalments and asks if this power extends to quantum as well as timing.

In Hamilton, Mrs Justice Baron gave some helpful drafting guidelines, but this article advises caution - the guidelines might fit most cases, but there is not always a 'one size fits all' solution and consideration must be given to the facts of any particular case. 

This article offers practical advice on how to approach this thorny issue of lump sums and lump sums by instalments.

The full version of this article appears in the July 2013 issue of Family Law.   

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