ANCILLARY RELIEF: F v F [2009] EWHC 2485 (Fam)

17 JUL 2009

(Family Division; Eleanor King J; 17 July 2009)

The wife sought ancillary relief from the husband. The couple had signed a pre-nuptial contract in France, but at the ancillary relief hearing neither party called a French expert to give evidence as to the effect of the contract, nor was a translation of the contract put before the court. The judge made an order requiring the payment to the wife of a lump sum of £412,401 being held by the trustees of a family trust; the husband was also ordered to make periodical payments to the wife.

The circumstances of this marital contract were fundamentally different from those in Radmacher v Granatino [2009] EWCA Civ 649; the pre-nuptial contract in this case had been merely an administrative inconvenience, imposed by the state, with which the couple were obliged to comply in order to marry. In any event, the court could not give due weight to the 'marital property regime' in force, because the French legal position had been unclear at trial, and remained unclear.

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