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Zahra Pabani
Zahra Pabani
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FINANCIAL REMEDIES: MET v HAT [2013] EWHC 4247 (Fam)
Date:23 JAN 2014
Law Reporter

(Family Division, Mostyn J, 16 December 2013)

The husband had four wives, according to the law and custom of his home country. When the relationship with his fourth wife, who was born in Egypt, broke down, he pronounced talaq while she issued a petition in the English court claiming they were habitually resident here and that the marriage had broken down due to the misconduct of the husband. She sought financial provision for herself and her two children and moved permanently to England.

During the marriage the family enjoyed a high standard of living, owned a property in England and visited other countries although they lived predominantly in the husband's home country. Since the separation the wife had purchased a property in Egypt and lived between there and England.

The wife now sought interim interim maintenance pending the hearing to consider interim financial support scheduled for 2 months' time. The husband issued an application under Part 4.4 of the FPR 2010 to strike out the wife's application.

On the present evidence before the court it seemed this was a strong case for this non-proceedings divorce to be afforded recognition by the English court. If the court ultimately made that determination the wife would have no right to apply for financial remedies by virtue of either Part 3 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 or the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and could only apply for child maintenance pursuant to Sch 1 to the Children Act 1989. The court, therefore, had to proceed carefully in the wife's application for interim maintenance.

In these circumstances, where it was very uncertain that the wife would be entitled to obtain an award, interim maintenance would only be awarded if there were a real predicament of need. A real predicament of need could not be evidenced in this case and, therefore, no award would be made in favour of the wife.

In relation to the children, both were entitled to a good standard of living having regard to the family's lifestyle. The husband plainly had very substantial resources. The wife would be awarded maintenance for the children of £20,000 per month for the following 3 months. The father would in addition pay school fees and provide £50,000 in costs for the application for child support.