Baron & Ors (4 Defective Divorces) [2019] EWFC 26 (17 April 2019)

Posted on Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

This Judgment considers the decision of Sir Stephen Brown P in Butler v. Butler, The Queen’s Proctor Intervening [2019] 1 FLR 114 in relation to the 4 Defective Divorces of Baron v Baron; Bird v Bird; Checova v Ilyas and Campbell-Anderson v Anderson.

In dealing with this matter, Sir James Munby advised that his recent Judgment in M v P, The Queen’s Proctor intervening [2019] EWFC 14, be read especially paragraphs 7 – 19.  This Judgment gave the background to these cases.

In all 4 of these cases, the Petitioner had brought the Petition less than one year after marriage, which was in non-compliance with section 3 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.  There were also issues with some of the Petitions being either amended or post-dated.

Upon considering all 4 cases, the previous Judgment of Sir Stephen Brown P and the cases of Dryden v Dryden [1973] Fam 217 and Nissim v Nissim [1988] Fam. Law 254, amongst others, which were referred to in Sir Stephen Brown P’s Judgment, Sir James Munby upheld Sir Stephen Brown P’s decision.  Sir James Munby therefore stated that it was correct that where a Divorce Petition has been made in breach of section 3 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, then the Petition is null and void, and that the defect is not curable by amending the original Petition.  The Court therefore has no power to entertain any such Petition.

The full judgment can be read here.

If you have any questions about this summary case law please contact Claire here.

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