Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
The need for proportionality and the ‘Covid impact’
Simon Wilkinson, Parklane PlowdenThe Covid-19 pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Within the courts and tribunals service there has been a plethora of guidance since March 2020 which...
Local authority input into private law proceedings, part II
Mani Singh Basi, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingsLucy Logan Green, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingThis article considers the interplay between private and public law proceedings, focusing on the law relating...
Time for change (II)
Lisa Parkinson, Family mediation trainer, co-founder and a Vice-President of the Family Mediators AssociationThe family law community needs to respond to the urgent call for change from the...
How Can I Wed Thee? – Let Me Change the Ways: the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on ‘Weddings’ Law (2020)
Professor Chris Barton, A Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association, Academic Door Tenant, Regent Chambers, Stoke-on-TrentThis article considers the Paper's 91 Consultation Questions...
Consultation on the proposed transfer of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of costs to the Legal Aid Agency
The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the proposed transfer from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service to the Legal Aid Agency of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of...
View all articles

Villiers case goes to the Supreme Court

Jan 16, 2019, 08:18 AM
Slug :
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : Yes
Prioritise In Trending Articles : Yes
Date : Jan 16, 2019, 08:15 AM
Article ID :

The Villiers saga continues as Mr Villiers has now been granted the right to appeal to the Supreme Court following the decision of the English Court of Appeal, writes Lisa Reilly, a solicitor at Brodies LLP.

Why so important?

Mr Villiers’ case throws into sharp relief the problems which arise as a consequence of what is known as “forum shopping”. This stems from the difficulty with our legislation which allows parties to select the Court in the country which is more likely to provide them with a favourable settlement in certain circumstances. So for example, in the case of a Scottish husband and an English wife who live in Scotland for much of their married life as Mr and Mrs Villiers did, and following separation the wife returns south of the border, where should they divorce? Scotland is the obvious answer since the husband is still “habitually resident” here. That is precisely what Mr Villiers did since during their long marriage he and his wife had lived in Scotland –and most of their property remained here. But Mrs Villiers responded with an action for maintenance for herself in England .She could do this because she was by then habitually resident in England and Mr Villiers’ divorce action did not contain any application for maintenance. Accordingly Mrs Villiers was free to raise an action in England for maintenance and the Court made a generous maintenance award in her favour.

Shopping for the best deal
Despite the closeness of our countries geographically, Scotland and England adopt very different approaches to the issue of maintenance after divorce. In Scotland, divorce legislation encourages a clean break and courts rarely make awards of maintenance for more than three years unless the divorce itself causes serious financial hardship. Conversely in England lifetime maintenance is not unusual. The regulations governing maintenance, or the interpretation of them, allow for the possibility of Court actions running in parallel in two separate jurisdictions and couples have to endure the resultant uncertainty and expense. And so we await the outcome of the Supreme Court decision of Villiers with interest.


Categories :
  • Articles
  • News
Tags :
  • Divorce
  • scotland
Scottish flag
Provider :
Product Bucket : Marriage & Civil
Load more comments
Comment by from