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Supreme Court Judgment in Villiers paves the way for English Maintenance Claims alongside a Scottish divorce

Date:3 AUG 2020

On 1 July 2020 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the matter of Villiers. The appeal which was brought by the husband centered on whether the English court has jurisdiction to make a maintenance order under section 27 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 in circumstances where the divorce between the parties took place in Scotland. We unpack the nature of the judgment and its wider ramifications in this article.

As acknowledged in the separate judgments of the Supreme Court Justices at the heart of this appeal is the vastly different outcome a spouse can expect in terms of spousal maintenance as between the Scottish Courts and the Courts of England and Wales.  It is widely accepted that the English Courts are more ‘generous’ to the financially weaker spouse than the Scottish Courts. Whilst maintenance provision in Scotland is usually limited to a maximum of three years the English Courts can and regularly do make orders for longer terms up to the rest of one spouse’s life. This core motivation of the parties was acknowledged but bore no explicit impact on...

Read the full article here.