The War of the Roses and Conduct Unbecoming [2021]

Webinar Details

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Jonathan Walker-Kane

CPD Hours: 1


This 1 hour webinar is presented by Jonathan Walker-Kane and addresses how cases of conduct should be approached and how they might be resisted.

Please note: this lecture was originally a part of the LAW2021 Online: Family Law (Spring) virtual event. The recorded edition of the event is still available, providing a 6-hour package for only £149+vat. Click here for the full description.

In proceedings for financial remedies, where there is insufficient time at court to convert heads of agreement into a consent order, the parties may return to the court room and explain to the judge the terms reached. The judge may approve the agreement and make an order in terms of the agreement. Even though the order itself has not been perfected, it is binding. If a dispute arises in the process of turning the agreement into a formal order, the judge can make rulings.

In the recent case of G v C [2020] EWFC B35 (OJ), the judge dismissed a husband and wife’s cross applications to vary a Rose order. The implications of this case are discussed in this lecture along with a thumbnail overview of setting aside and appeals.

In the recent case of RM and TM [2020] EWFC 41, Robert Peel QC, sitting as a Deputy High Court Judge said that the parties had embarked on “ruinous and recriminatory financial remedy proceedings”. The case sought to clarify the area of law surrounding conduct: how it should be considered in the context of section 25(2)(g) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Section 25(2)(g) states that one of the factors the court shall take into account in determining financial proceedings is “the conduct of each of the parties if that conduct is such that it would in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it”.

“This case makes clear that spouses cannot raise allegations of ‘conduct’ in the hope of somehow persuading a judge to take against their spouse/or colour the judge’s views – something which is all too often being attempted and in particular by Litigants in Person.

This lecture addresses how cases of conduct should be approached and how they might be resisted.