Financial proceedings—conduct of the parties
Financial proceedings—conduct of the parties

The following Family practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial proceedings—conduct of the parties
  • The nature of the conduct
  • Add-back or re-attribution of assets
  • Procedural issues

Conduct is a specific factor to be taken into account under section 25(2)(g) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (MCA 1973) and para 21(2)(g) of Schedule 5, Part 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (CPA 2004), if that conduct is such that it would ‘in the opinion of the court be inequitable to disregard it’.

Accordingly, statute specifically invites the court to consider the conduct of the parties as a factor when making a financial award. It is therefore tempting for the parties to list extensive details of each other’s bad behaviour: indeed, they are specifically invited to do so by Form E although with the proviso that bad behaviour or conduct will only be taken into account 'in very exceptional circumstances'.

Clients may be keen to run conduct arguments. It is, however, rarely the case that conduct is relevant within financial order proceedings and robust advice should accordingly be given at the outset. The Law Society’s Family Law Protocol states that details of conduct by the other party should only be included in a Form E when that conduct is sufficiently exceptional to be relevant. The client should be advised of the views of courts on the inclusion of conduct and it should be explained why conduct is not usually taken into account. In OG v AG, Mostyn J said (at para [72]):

‘[T]imes have

Popular documents