Court of Appeal allowed a husband’s appeal against an order made by a Family Division judge

The Court of Appeal allowed a husband’s appeal against an order made by a Family Division judge that he should pay his wife a lump sum even though a Russian court had previously made a consent order following Russian divorce proceedings in which they both had legal representation.

Following an evaluation of all the relevant factors, the Court of Appeal concluded that it had not been appropriate for the Family Division to have made an order under the provisions of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (MFPA 1984) relating to financial relief after an overseas divorce, and therefore its lump sum order would be set aside.

The couple had been divorced in Russia in 2009. A financial consent order was made in the Russian proceedings settling the wife’s worldwide claims. As a combined consequence of the implementation of the Russian order, operation of law and an agreement between the parties, the wife was granted $10m, the use of a house in Kensington during the children’s education, and child maintenance.

The wife, however, applied in the English court for financial relief under MFPA 1984, Pt III in 2014, arguing that she had not been provided with sufficient financial provision under the Russian order and sought a further £9.8m.

The husband appealed and argued that no relief should have been ordered in favour of the wife under MFPA 1984, Pt III.

The Court of Appeal, having evaluated all the relevant factors, reached the conclusion that it had not been appropriate to make an order under MFPA 1984, Pt III. The wife was also ordered to pay the husband’s costs of and incidental to the appeal, to be assessed if not agreed.