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Z v Z and Others [2016] EWHC 911 (Fam)

Date:27 APR 2016
Third slide
Law Reporter
(Family Division. Roberts J, 22 April 2016)

Financial remedies – Foreign divorce – Financial order made in Russian divorce proceedings – Delay of 5 years before wife made application under Part III of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 – Whether the court should make a substantive financial order

The judge held that a substantive financial order should be made in favour of the wife pursuant to Part III of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The Russian husband and wife were married in 1997 and had three children together. The family moved to London in 2004 and the marriage broke down in 2008. Their divorce was finalised in Russia in 2009 and a financial agreement was approved which provided the wife with US $10m. The husband submitted that the order was in full and final settlement of the wife's claims and precluded any claim she might have pursuant to s 24(1)(c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

In 2014 the wife applied to the English court for financial remedy following a foreign divorce. A 7-day hearing was scheduled to determine whether on the basis of all the circumstances of the case it was appropriate to make an English order.

The wife's case was that the Russian order was intended to deal with Russian property only and that the Russian order had not dealt with spousal or child maintenance. The husband submitted that the wife's claim was a classic second bite of the cherry.

The judge emphasised the broad discretion given to the courts in determining whether a Part III application should be permitted. Even if the agreement were fair in light of the then-prevailing circumstances that was not necessarily a bar to a Part III application provided that the English court considered it to be appropriate in all the circumstances to make an order.

Roberts J help that in the particular and exceptional circumstances of this case even viewed against the backdrop of delay, made it appropriate for an English court to make an order for financial provision in the wife's favour. The factor of delay would, however, likely be reflected in any substantive order made by the court.

Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWHC 911 (Fam)
Case No: FD14F00368


Royal Courts of Justice

Date: 22/04/2016

Before :


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Between :


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First Respondent
Codan Trust Company Limited
Second Respondent
Kopt Development Limited
Third Respondent


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Mr Philip Marshall QC and Mr Dakis Hagen (instructed by Vardags) for the Applicant
Mr Lewis Marks QC and Miss Katie Cowton (instructed by Stewarts Law LLP) for the First Respondent
The Second and Third Respondents did not appear and were not represented

Hearing dates: 14th to the 18th March 2016

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