Wife can claim Interim Periodical legal cost on ground of straitened circumstances even after 14 years of obtaining divorce

Supreme Court of United Kingdom- The appeal before the Court pertains to the interim periodical payments to fund the legal costs involved in the substantive application made by the wife. In this unusual case, the wife made an application in the divorce proceedings for financial provision in the form of a lump sum after almost 14 years of obtaining divorce. The appellant (wife) and respondent (husband) got separated in 1984 and obtained a divorce decree in 1992. The appellant had four children, who lived with her in her house adding to her expenses. The appellant subsisted partly on her wages generated during the periods of low-paid employment, and partly on State benefits. Respondent at the time of separation was not in a position to support the family, hence the appellant brought up the children in poor circumstances. However, later the respondent’s business flourished and he became a multi millionaire. The wife then filed an application for financial assistance.

In a unanimous judgment, the Court while examining the Family Procedures Rules 2010, allowed the appeal and referred the wife’s application to the Family Division of the High Court and restored the cost allowance order and set aside the repayment order passed by the Court of Appeal. Giving the lead judgment Lord Wilson observed that the decisive test for passing order as to legal costs was whether the wife could afford services of her solicitors by any other means. Further, the Court also observed that the appellant’s application is legally recognisable and is not an abuse of the process of the court and her appeal against the order of repayment therefore succeeds. Wyatt v. Vince, 2015 UKSC 14, decided on 11-03-2015

Join the discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.