ANCILLARY RELIEF: L v L (Financial Relief)

10 AUG 2007

(Family Division; Richard Anelay QC sitting as a Deputy Judge of the High Court; 29 June 2007)

The judge set out the court's approach to the s 25 statutory exercise, post-Charman. First the court had to determine the assets and general financial position of the parties. Secondly, the court had to decide how all the property of the parties should be shared between them, sharing equally unless there were good reasons to the contrary. Thirdly, the court had to decide whether the result produced by the application of the sharing principle met the needs of the parties, generously interpreted. Only if the result of the application of the sharing principle failed to meet the needs of the parties would those needs dictate a greater share of the property than than produced by the application of the sharing principle. There would be no reduction in the award because the needs were less than the sum produced by the application of the sharing principle. The judge excluded some but not all of the husband's assets acquired prior to marriage, which included inherited assets; a substantial portion of these assets had been invested in the matrimonial property, diluting the argument for excluding the entirety of such assets as non-matrimonial property.

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