X v Y, Re Z (No. 4 Schedule 1 award)  EWFC 257 March 2023
Published: 17/04/2023 09:00
Mr Justice Cobb. M’s application under Schedule 1 for financial provision from F, who lives in the USA, for Zoe who is 2 years 4 months old and suffers from Williams Syndrome. Zoe also has a congenital heart defect and displays global developmental delay. Interim maintenance and LSPO orders had already been made.
F disengaged from proceedings following the PTR and confirmed that he would not be attending the final hearing.
The judge considered that a number of the heads of claim appeared to be for the benefit of the M only, reflecting on his finding that her claim had started with unrealistic expectations. M had misled the court about an alleged debt to her father and she had required the nanny/ies to repay her in cash some of the sums awarded to her for payment to the nanny/ies, pocketing c.£10,000.
‘Standard of living’ is not a factor to be considered under statute but case law indicates that the child’s standard of living should not be ‘out of kilter’ with that of the paying parent.
Since the birth of Zoe, M had cared for her in London with the assistance of a nanny. F had not yet met Zoe, but stated he could not travel to London because of work commitments.
The judge awarded £3.65m as a housing fund (to be held on trust by the F for M and Zoe’s occupation), in addition to £50,000 for redecoration and a further fund of £25,000 for further redecoration as Zoe grows. A fund for moving was awarded, and payment for a nanny until Zoe reached 9 years old, at which point it would be reviewed. The judge found that the M’s own needs could be included in the ‘HECSA’ award, but applied a broad brush to reduce the budget on a percentage basis. The F was also ordered to pay for the costs of 1:1 support for Zoe at school, as well as to settle the M’s debts but only those legitimately and reasonably incurred. Awards also made for health insurance, therapies for Zoe, flights to and from the USA. Security for the above payments to be against the F’s home in the USA.
M sought for capitalisation of the periodical payments as a prelude to enforcement but the judge declined on the basis that the F should be given an opportunity to comply and that the orders may require variation over time.