Q&As

A party gave an undertaking within a financial consent order to pay life insurance premiums, but subsequently stated that the undertaking was included by mistake and that the premiums were part of the provision for spousal maintenance. If the other party will not agree to the removal of the undertaking, how may this be rectified?

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Produced in partnership with Paul Infield of The 36 Group
Published on LexisPSL on 17/09/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Paul Infield of The 36 Group provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A party gave an undertaking within a financial consent order to pay life insurance premiums, but subsequently stated that the undertaking was included by mistake and that the premiums were part of the provision for spousal maintenance. If the other party will not agree to the removal of the undertaking, how may this be rectified?

An undertaking may not be varied by a court, but the person making it may, on application, be released from its performance, often having offered an alternative, or on condition that a further undertaking is given (see Birch v Birch). In determining whether to exercise the discretion to release, where an undertaking could have been framed as a variable order (such as an order for sale under section 24A of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973)), the court should apply the criteria of MCA 1973, s 31(7), which effectively requires an exercise balancing the competing interests of the parties. Such an exercise was carried out (though in a rather different case) by Cohen J in A v A (Financial Remedies: Variation of Under

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