In a case relating to two parties of Italian origin, who were married, but separated, the English court, despite being the court second seized, had jurisdiction in relation to a school fees order, child maintenance and the sale of a London property. Accordingly, the Family Division dismissed the applicant husband's appeals against, among other things, a ruling refusing a stay of the respondent wife's application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 for the sale of a London property.
In 2006, the applicant husband and respondent wife married in Italy. They had one child (I), presently aged eight. In 2009, the parties purchased a property in London in joint names. The TR1 form filed with the Land Registry recorded that the beneficial interest was held by the parties as joint tenants. The parties separated in 2016.
In March, the husband issued judicial separation proceedings in Italy. Thereafter, the wife made a number of applications to the English court, including an application under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (the TOLATA 1996) seeking an order for sale of the London property with an equal division of the net proceeds. When that matter came before the court to determine the question of jurisdiction, the husband applied to stay the TOLATA proceedings on the basis that the Italian court was seised of the parties' judicial separation proceedings, as well as with the financial and maintenance aspect of the spouses' respective claims. The judge dismissed the husband's application for a stay. The husband appealed.
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