ANCILLARY RELIEF: S v S [2007]

22 MAY 2007

(Family Division; 22 May 2007; Baron J)

When an FDR had not been effective, it was incumbent upon the court to fix another appointment as soon as practicable so that the parties could be given an opportunity to sort out their litigation, air the issues, and have a neutral judicial evaluation at a time before the costs denuded their assets. The case had to come before an experienced tribunal and had to be given sufficient time to enable the tribunal to read the papers fully and to engage with the parties and their professional teams. The district judge had not been plainly wrong in failing to take the wife's inheritance prospects into account, however it had been unfair and discriminatory to ring-fence the wife's financial contributions to the marriage, which had emanated from her parents. Each party had made a full and proper contribution to the marriage and all assets that had come into the marriage should have been available to cover the parties' requirements.

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