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Henry Hood’s article re Charman v Charman in Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal

  • September 30, 2007
  • By Hunters Law

High tide for the yardstick?

Henry Hood, Partner in the Family department at Hunters, reviews the judgment in the case of Charman v Charman, putting it in the context of a string of cases where family law and trusts collide.

Large divorce cases have been making the news recently, with the award in Charman v Charman at £48m (left untouched by the Court of Appeal in May this year) presently leading the field – but perhaps not for long. The recipients of these awards owe a considerable debt to Mrs White, whose claims were considered by the House of Lords in 2000. The amount awarded was unremarkable by today’s standards, but the approach Mrs White persuaded the House to take was revolutionary. It is possible to identify various themes in relation to capital division from the way in which this approach has been developed in the intervening period, reaching (arguably) its high point in the cases of Miller and McFarlane in 2006.

Belying the reality that applies to most divorces, which is that the need to provide two of everything usually means that there is not enough money to go around, the new law in this area is invariably made in the so called ‘big money’ cases. Accordingly, for the purposes of this article, it is necessary to make two assumptions: first, that the husband earns, while the wife looks after him, the home and the children; and secondly that there is ample money to go around.

Read the full article in Trusts and Estates Law & Tax Journal via a PDF, here.

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