Injunctions in matrimonial matters

By Michael Gouriet and Natalie O’Shea

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a wife’s appeal against an anti-suit injunction preventing her from bringing further proceedings abroad following a divorce and financial settlement in England. Here we review the court’s approach to anti-suit injunctions and also consider what the case demonstrates about injunctions under section 37 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973.

The case concerned a wife who had taken a full part in contested financial provision proceedings on divorce in England, resulting in a comprehensive determination of all financial issues between the parties. She then proceeded to pursue a fresh application for financial provision in a foreign jurisdiction (the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or TRNC) before decree absolute was pronounced in England.

Counsel for the husband argued that it would be unconscionable to allow a wife who had petitioned for divorce in England, applied for financial provision, contested the process at first instance, attempted to re-open the matter before the Court of Appeal and breached her undertaking not to pursue proceedings in TRNC, pending a final order by pursuing fresh claims in TRNC…

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