(Family Division, Mostyn J, 10 December 2013)
The husband and wife were both born in different countries. They had an 8-year-old son together. The relationship was turbulent and punctuated by periods of separation. During the relationship following their engagement they signed a premarital agreement providing for the level of financial support to be paid upon divorce.
When they separated the wife applied for maintenance pending suit under s 22 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and for interim periodical payments for the child who lived with her in Country S.
When adjudicating the question of maintenance pending suit where there was a prenuptial agreement, the court should seek to apply the terms of the agreement as closely and as practically as possible. Maintenance was ordered at the rate stipulated in the agreement of £24,000 pa per child. Against that sum credit was given to the value of the wife's occupation of a £3m property which was £1m more than the agreement provided and also to half of the household bills and service charges given the property was jointly owned.