A Wife v A Husband [2022] EWFC 1546 December 2022

Published: 21/12/2022 09:00


HHJ Vincent. Consent order provided for W to receive lump sum in instalments for purpose of housing herself and the children, and spousal and child periodical payments. W relocated and sought accelerated receipt. Further consent order provided for this, but with reduction in overall payments. Parties have been involved in various Children Act proceedings (hence anonymisation of judgment) and W’s attempts to revisit the financial remedies order. W has since remarried and no longer received PPs. She sought child maintenance top-up in accordance with the Mostyn formula in CB v KB [2020] 1 FLR 795. H sought return of spousal maintenance from date of W’s cohabitation with her future husband. Judge highly critical of W’s disclosure and evidence.

Held – no justification for increased child maintenance.

‘The wife has not been able to articulate what it is about hers, the husband's or the girls' circumstances that has changed since the time the previous orders were made … application is based on the premise that her ex-husband has earned substantial sums of money since their separation and she feels entitled to receive a share in it …’

Court declines to exercise discretion to order W to return the spousal maintenance for her period of cohabitation. Balancing of competing considerations: W’s obfuscation re whether she was cohabiting; fact that obligation does not necessarily stop at cohabitation and order did not provide that it did; impact of covid in bringing forward cohabitation without necessary relationship security; W could have arguably coped without the maintenance; and there was no formal application for back-payment. W ordered to pay half of H’s costs in light of her litigation misconduct.

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