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Ancillary Relief and the Public/Private Divide

Date:19 AUG 2009

Somaya Ouazzani Solicitor Anthony Gold

Ancillary relief has for many years seen the courts adjusting the private financial lives of family members: however it has now begun to look to the public side of that ideological divide. Legal practitioners are now more aware that as described by Starnes 'the home is not an equal opportunity employer' (C Starnes 'Divorce and the Displaced Homemaker: A Discourse of Playing with Dolls Partnership Buyouts and Dissociation Under No Fault ' (1993) 60 Uni. Chi. L. Rev 67) and that the gender divisions are not necessarily the result of freely chosen decisions. The milestone case of White v White [2000] 2 FLR 981 incontrovertibly has been the catalyst which instigated this recognition. Lord Nicholls in discussing the 1970 statutory provisions rightly stated '... the property adjustment provisions were limited... they reflected the values of male-dominated Victorian society.' He famously held '... there is no place for discrimination between husband and wife and their respective roles.' White correctly denounced any preference for the breadwinner's contribution and realised that the homemaker's contribution is conducive to the breadwinner's...

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