Ensuring client’s divorce payments were fairly reinstated: Anna Sutcliffe
Ensuring client’s divorce payments were fairly reinstated: Anna Sutcliffe

Jones Myers acts in high-profile case over divorce payments

9 February 2021

Niche family law firm Jones Myers has secured a successful outcome in a high-profile case in which its client’s divorce payments were reinstated following an error.

The practice – which has offices in Harrogate, Leeds and York – acted for a wife who separated from her former spouse after 29 years of marriage.

The court had ordered her ex-husband to make monthly payments to her until either of them died, she remarried – or the court made a further order.  However, when the order was written up, it contained an error which created uncertainty as to when the payments should end.

On remarrying, the ex-husband said the court order enabled him to stop paying his former wife. However the family court agreed with the wife that the order should have been corrected and dismissed his application to appeal to keep the incorrect one.

Jones Myers brought the case to successful conclusion by persuading the court that the ex-husband should not be allowed to benefit from what was a clear error and so clarified that the ex-husband’s obligation to pay should continue.

Family lawyers at Jones Myers relied on the principle of the ‘slip rule’ which allows courts to correct accidental slips or omissions in judgments and orders.

Jones Myers senior family law executive, Anna Sutcliffe:

The error made resulted in the client’s monthly payments being unjustly withheld.  We are delighted to have had them fairly reinstated by drawing on the slip rule.”

Added Jones Myers partner, Nicki Mitchell: “This case could have had far reaching consequences as the original error meant the court order incorrectly ruled that the ex-husband would stop making the payments if he remarried and not if his ex-wife remarried.

It serves as a salutary reminder that family law practitioners should always double check court orders.

Acknowledged as an exceptional family law practice, Jones Myers has consistently retained its top tier regional rankings in legal guides for over two decades.

In December 2020, the firm was crowned Family Law Firm of the Year North in the Family Law awards and applauded as a ‘Northern powerhouse’.

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