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Family Law

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23 JUL 2007


(Family Division; Munby J; 23 July 2007)

Dismissing the wifes application to annul the husbands bankruptcy, the court reviewed the relevant law and commented on what would have happened had the bankruptcy order been annulled. References to the strict approach advocated by Chancery judges were unhelpful; the Family Division had to apply precisely the same principles and in precisely the same way as the Chancery Division or the Queens Bench Division. A creditor was not to be prejudiced because a wifes application to annul a bankruptcy order upon which he depended came before a Family Division judge any more than a wife was to be prejudiced because her application came before a Chancery judge. If the husband had not been classed as bankrupt, he could have paid his debts only by an immediate sale of the matrimonial home, had the bankruptcy been annulled, any ancillary relief order would have been liable to be set aside as a transaction at an undervalue in the event of a bankruptcy order within the next 5 years. The wifes attempt to preserve the matrimonial home had probably always been doomed to failure and the result of the ruinously expensive proceedings had been to diminish very drastically indeed the matrimonial pot available to the husband and wife.

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