17 December 2007

Crossley Divorce: Court of Appeal decision sets stage for big money, prenuptial agreement test case

Principal Mark Harper of Withers family team acted for the successful husband in the recent Court of Appeal case.

The Court of Appeal ruled on 19 December 2007 in the Crossley v Crossley divorce that it is possible to short circuit normal Court procedures when a financial claim in a divorce appears to be hopeless and there is a prenuptial agreement. Lord Justice Thorpe's Judgment outlined the view that prenuptial agreements are growing in importance in a fraught area of law.

The decision dismissed Mrs Crossley's appeal against a High Court decision which ruled that the facts of the case could be heard in a one day hearing, rather than following the usual procedures which entail three Court hearings and a delay of up to 18 months.

Stuart Crossley had requested that the Court ‘short-circuit' the normal procedures, given it was a short, childless marriage, both parties had independent wealth, and a prenuptial agreement was in place.  

Commenting, Mark Harper, says:

_“We are delighted with this decision – it is a very significant step forward for prenuptial agreements. The Court of Appeal has shown that when a prenuptial agreement exists, the English Courts can take a pragmatic approach and short-circuit normal Court procedures, saving time, money and emotional distress for all those involved.  This will give anyone facing a dubious financial claim on divorce hope that it will be assessed at the earliest opportunity, and not involve a lengthy, arduous and expensive court process. _


Category: Article