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Drafting consent orders: Hamilton v Hamilton

Date:23 APR 2013

Sarah Foreman Solicitor Vardags

Within family law there has developed an oft-used strategy when drafting consent orders upon divorce in order to ensure that payments of lump sums are not capable of being varied further down the line. This tactic consists of labelling all lump sum payments individual lump sums as opposed to a lump sum payable by instalments and takes advantage of the wording of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 which  prima facie suggests that only the latter are capable of later variation. It enables the wealthier spouse to continue with his or her life without the worry that should their fortune increase the ex they thought they had severed ties with could return to haunt them and attempt to vary their settlement upwards. Hamilton v Hamilton [2013] EWCA Civ 13 [2013] 2 FLR (forthcoming)    is the first case in which the Court of Appeal has considered this principle and has been described by Mrs Justice Baron who delivered the main judgment as the 'paradigm case'  which will clarify the law in...

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