ANCILLARY RELIEF: Williams v Lindley (Formerly Williams) [2005] EWCA Civ 103

10 FEB 2005

(10 February 2005; Thorpe, Smith and Buxton LJJ; Court of Appeal) [2005] 2 FLR 710, [2005] The Times March 23

By a majority (Buxton LJ dissenting), the court allowed the appeal against refusal of an application for extension of time to set aside a consent order, on the basis that the refusal was unjust. When it was suggested that a supervening event justified the re-opening of a consent order, the judge ought to focus on the extent to which the assumptions underlying the order had been undermined, and not look ahead to what he considered would happen at the rehearing. In this case the wife's engagement within a month of the making of the consent order destroyed the foundation of the order, which had been the wife's urgent need to rehouse herself and the children.

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