Another bite of the cherry

Another recent High Court decision indicated the willingness of the English Court to make substantial financial orders following a foreign divorce. In the case of Z v A, a wife who had issued divorce proceedings herself elsewhere first and who had assets of her own of £7 million received an additional £3 million from the English Court for a housing/maintenance fund.

As the connecting factors in England were not strong, the High Court limited her to a needs claim, albeit needs based on a “glittering” standard of living.

Therefore, she was not entitled to enjoy special local principles of compensation or sharing which should only be available in a purely English case i.e. where the factors connecting to England were very strong.

This once again demonstrates the willingness of the English Court to make orders which would be considered as “mouth-watering” in any other Court. More importantly, it shows that winning the race to Court (or, if you were the Applicant, choosing the wrong Court in the beginning) does not prevent a second bite of the cherry in England, even where the connecting factors are weak. Therefore it is advisable to take the right advice before and after entering into an international marriage.

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