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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

04 JUN 2009

ANCILLARY RELIEF: C v T [2009] EWHC

(Family Division; Moylan J; 4 June 2009)

The husband and wife entered into a post-nuptial settlement following a separation. The family wealth had all been inherited by the wife, and the agreement provided that the assets, other than the overseas assets, would be held in the wife's sole name. Almost 15 years later it was discovered that the husband had been sexually assaulting the grandchildren, taking photographs of them, and both naming them as victims and posting photographs of them on the internet. He pleaded guilty to 17 offences and was sentenced to a minimum of 3 years imprisonment. The wife obtained a divorce and initiated ancillary relief proceedings, seeking to enforce the post-nuptial settlement under which the husband was to receive only his interest in the overseas property. The wife, aged 70, had £4.3 million in her name, the husband had about £108,000, and a significant inheritance prospect.

The husband had fully appreciated the consequences of the post-nuptial settlement, which he had agreed to after receiving legal advice, and there had been no subsequent change in circumstances that rendered the agreement manifestly unjust. Further, the husband's conduct had been the grossest breach of trust and he had been responsible for the destruction of the marriage. Finally, having regard to the origin of the wealth, the husband had made no positive contribution to the family's wealth. Either on the basis of the settlement, or as a matter of discretion under Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s 25, no further financial provision was to be made for the husband.

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