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‘Murphy’s law’: are term orders appropriate? (£)

Date:7 JAN 2015
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Jonathan Tod  Counsel 29 Bedford Row
Talitha Brookman  Solicitor Brookman Solicitors

The recent High Court decision in Murphy v Murphy [2014] EWHC 2263 (Fam) [2014] Fam Law 1520 provides an important restatement of the statutory framework and case-law concerning the term of adult periodical payments orders. This decision stresses the importance of safeguarding the financial position of the weaker party. The lower courts in the last several years have drawn back from making joint lives periodical payments orders. Terms are often made on the basis of arbitrary assessment of a wife/mother’s future earning capacity. Husbands have sought to argue that this development in the law is appropriate and that the days of joint lives orders should now end (or be orders made sparingly). Baroness Deech presented a Private Member’s Bill to the House of Lords in 2014 which stresses the desirability of term maintenance orders and a clean break – a Bill which sought...

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