Family Law - Divorce - Financial aspects 1 - Factors under Matrimonial Causes Act

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  • Created by: Melanie
  • Created on: 05-05-16 17:16

Structure for problem question:

1. Apply statutory guidelines (S.25 (2) MCA)

  • Financial resources - S.25 (2) (a)

In most cases the court is looking at the debt rather than the assets. The court cannot take into account the resources of a third party. E.g. if the wife now has a rich boyfriend. TL v ML - it might be appropriate for example where the third party are willing to provide funds to meet any court order. However, it would be wrong of the court to make an order that puts undue pressure on a third party to make a payment. With rich individuals, their assets are often hidden within a company he/she controls. 'Other resources include those from trusts. The court will consider extra earnings and bonus's.

  • The needs, obligations and responsbilities of the parties - S.25 (2) (b)

Having looked at the plus side - resources of the parties, the court will now turn to the minus side - the needs of the parties. Needs are subjective - E.g. do you need a sofa? Does it need to be ffrom argos or harrods? Needs will be understood in the context of the kind of lifestyle the couple enjoyed during the marriage. AR v AR - financial security was seen as a need. In Miller - Baroness Hale stated that in relation to wealthy couples, need should be interpretted generously but these needs must be generated by the marriage. Possible current position - the court must take into account all the needs of the parties but the source of those needs may be an additional factor to take into account. First need court will look at is housing. Cordle v Cordle - nothing is more awful than homelessness. Always seek to find a home for children. Where there is sufficient funds, it is likely that the housing will be at a similar level to that enjoyed during the marriage. But the court will not do this if the non-resident parent will not have any housing. Will not take into account voluntary obligations such as travel expenses to work or increased spenditure for living in an unduly large house. Courts are concerned with what the…

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