WXT v HMT (leave to claim financial relief following overseas divorce) [2024] EWFC 136 (B)7 June 2024

Published: 20/06/2024 20:22


HHJ Vincent. The case concerned an application by W for leave to make a claim for financial relief following an overseas divorce under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The parties met and married in Algeria and lived in the UK until they moved to the UAE. They returned to England in 2016. Both parties lived and worked in this country. Upon their return to the UK, they lived in rented accommodation. Both parties lived and worked in this country. The parties had no assets of the marriage in this jurisdiction, or in Algeria. There were some matrimonial properties and other assets in Dubai or offshore.

To determine the application, the judge needed to have regard to all the factors in s 16(2) and decide whether there is substantial ground for allowing an application for financial remedies to proceed in this jurisdiction. Each of the factors under s 16(2) were analysed as they apply to the circumstances of this case. A summary of the relevant law, with brief consideration of Potanina can be found at [13] to [33].

W had the right to apply to Algeria for financial remedies, but she chose not as she was sceptical about what she would receive from the Algerian court. She also did not live there, travel there with any frequency or have enough funds to instruct a lawyer in Algeria. Also, if she were to obtain an order against H in Algeria, these reasons would make enforcing those orders in the Algerian courts difficult for her. H argued that W was required to proceed with the Algerian proceedings before applying to this court. He further argued that W could only be granted permission if the court was satisfied that the Algerian court either has or is likely to make inadequate financial provision for her. This was an incorrect statement of the law as the court could grant permission if satisfied that there is a substantial ground to make an application.

Having regard to all factors under s 16(2), the judge concluded that W had shown a solid or substantial ground for making an application in this jurisdiction. Permission was granted as both parties had a strong connection to England, both lived here for eight years since returning from UAE and lived here for the first 15 years of their marriage. Whilst W could make an application in Algeria, she should not be compelled to do so when she could participate in proceedings here and represent herself and attend court at minimal expense.


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