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The wife's needs (generously interpreted) were not simply one of the factors in the case, but a factor of magnetic importance - Essay Example

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Topic: "The wife's needs (generously interpreted) were not simply one of the factors in the case, but a factor of magnetic importance. fairness required that the wife's needs were the dominant factor in a case such as this" (McCartney v Mills [2008] 1 FLR 1508 FD) Do you agree?…
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The wifes needs (generously interpreted) were not simply one of the factors in the case, but a factor of magnetic importance
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Extract of sample "The wife's needs (generously interpreted) were not simply one of the factors in the case, but a factor of magnetic importance"

Download file to see previous pages Thus, the court’s determination in McCartney v Mills3 that the wife’s needs were the dominant factor in awarding ancillary relief in a manner that was fair. To begin with ancillary relief awards commence with the application of Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Section 25(1) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 directs the courts to “have regard to all the circumstances of the case”.4 Section 25(2) goes on to provide a list of all the factors that are relevant to the court in the exercise of its discretion on determining ancillary relief awards. These factors include the parties’ income, property, assets, earning capacity, financial needs and resources, “obligations and responsibilities” of the parties, the “standard of living enjoyed” prior to the marriage breakdown, age, marriage duration, physical/mental disabilities, contributions made and conduct of the parties if the court finds that it would “be inequitable to” to ignore the conduct.5 The standard of living enjoyed appeared to be the primary needs’ factor considered by the court in McCartney v Mills. ...
arly so since, the marriage was relatively short and Mills had not been independently wealthy and therefore it was entirely unrealistic for her to expect that she could duplicate that lifestyle or enhance it following the breakdown of the short marriage. In this regard, the standard of living during the marriage as considered by the court was not a need that the wife could realistically claim. Her actual needs would be assessed and particularly since compensation was not an issue. As Bennett J explained, when the husband’s “enormous fortune” was acquired even before he met his wife there is no need to look at the “compensation principle”.7 Bennet J went on to state: Where the marriage is short and where the standard of living lasted only so long as the marriage; where the wife is now and will be very comfortably housed; and where the child’s needs are fully assured, surely fairness requires that the wife’s needs (generously interpreted) are the dominant factor in the Section 25 exercise. Any other radically different way of looking at this case would be manifestly unfair.8 Mills had requested an award of compensation claiming that she had given up a lucrative modelling career during her relatively short marriage. However, the court found that her income prior to marrying McCartney was not as lucrative as she suggested. Mills’ request for compensation was thus rejected by the court and instead the court determined ancillary relief on the basis of Mills’ needs.9 Based on Mills’ needs in terms of sustaining the lifestyle to which she had enjoyed during the marriage, she was awarded 24 million pounds despite the fact that McCartney’s wealth was an estimated 400 million pounds. Even so, the marital acquest was relatively small since, most the wealth ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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