Goodyear v Goodyear (Deceased) [2022] EWFC 9612 August 2022

Published: 30/08/2022 09:00

HHJ Farquhar. Application by the husband to set aside a pension sharing order (‘PSO’) following the death of the wife. The application was opposed by the executor’s of the wife’s estate. The fundamental issue was whether the death of the wife had invalidated the basis or fundamental assumption upon which the PSO was made (Barder v Barder (Caluori Intervening) [1988] AC 20. It was determined that the purpose of the PSO was to ensure the parties had sufficient income during retirement, and had it been known that the wife would not live more than six months after the order was entered into then the pension share would not have been agreed. The judge stated that ‘it is the intention of the parties at the time that the order was approved that is important, rather than any intention that was formulated thereafter’; [51].

The judge considered the negotiation correspondence between solicitors regarding the rationale behind the pension share and the figure agreed on. All Barder criteria were met, and the order had to be set aside. Even if it was known that the wife would die within six months of the PSO, it would not have been a fair outcome if no pension share was granted. This was due to the disparity in the parties’ pensions and the lengthy duration of the marriage. It followed that the appropriate pension share to order was 25% of the husband’s pension to reflect the wife’s ‘earned’ share, whilst also providing a discount for the years for which an income would not be required by the wife.

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