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No Second Bite of the Cherry

Date:27 JUL 2007

Dennis North, 70, appealed against a district judge's decision in 2006 to award a lump sum of £202,000 from his retirement fund to his ex-wife, Jean North, whom he divorced in 1978. Mrs North, 64, had left him and their three children for another man and the couple had come to a financial settlement which gave Mrs North a 'reasonable' lifestyle. When her finances took a turn for the worse, partly as a result of her own 'lifestyle choices' she returned to the county court to vary the terms of the original order. That was later upheld in the High Court. The Court of Appeal ruled on 25 July that the second award was 'fundamentally flawed'. Mrs North might still be due 'some modest award' from her former husband, but it would not approach the six-figure sum that she had previously been granted: 'The prodigal former wife cannot hope to turn to a former husband in pursuit of a legal remedy, whatever may be her hope that he might, out of charity, come to her rescue.' The Court stated that she might still be entitled to 'some modest award' which will be decided at the end of July. For further information see September [2007] Fam Law.