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Martin-Dye v Martin-Dye: The Unanswered Questions

Date:6 JUL 2006

David Salter Solicitor Addleshaw Goddard Leeds Manchester and London. Nearly 6 years after the introduction of pension sharing in December 2000 it has become increasingly apparent to family lawyers that guidance from the Court of Appeal on the treatment of pensions in ancillary relief applications is becoming essential. There have so far been a number of instances where tangential guidance has proved possible for example Cowan v Cowan [2001] EWCA Civ 679 [2001] 2 FLR 192 and Maskell v Maskell [2001] EWCA Civ 858 [2003] 1 FLR 1138. In Martin-Dye pensions occupied centre stage: expectations were therefore high. The opportunity to give general guidance was perhaps limited due to the fact that the pensions involved were already in payment. Nonetheless the author says that the decision of the Court of Appeal leaves many critical questions unanswered and does therefore represent a missed opportunity. The unanswered questions include how should the value of an off-set be calculated? While it cannot be said that the Court of Appeal has given the detailed guidance hoped for in many quarters ...

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