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DIVORCE/ FORUM: JKN v JCN [2010] EWHC 843 (Fam)

Date:13 MAY 2010

(Family Division; Miss Theis QC sitting as a deputy High Court judge; 19 April 2010)

The husband and wife were born in New York, but had both become British citizens. At a stage when the marriage was in serious difficulties, the couple returned with their children to New York. The wife issued divorce proceedings in England having been advised that she didn't satisfy the New York residency requirement. The husband issued divorce proceedings in New York and asserted that New York was the appropriate forum. The husband then sought to stay the English proceedings.  

The court considered whether it was prevented from exercising its discretionary jurisdiction to stay by Owusu v Jackson and whether the wife was tricked into returning to New York given that the husband's New York divorce proceedings were based on false residency information. Consideration as to whether the New York proceedings were ‘proceedings' within Sched 1, para 9.  

Held that it was neither necessary nor desirable to extend to parallel proceedings in a non-member state. It was also neither necessary nor desirable to extend to Brussels II Revised. New York proceedings were within para 9. Concluded that New York was a more appropriate forum and granted stay.