Pump Court Chambers

Revisiting a Final Order

Blog 22nd May 2015

Barder v Caluori [1988] remains ever the response to the often posed question as to how final is a final order. Even where there are events or discoveries post order, they of course do not always amount to a Barder event. A recent consideration of this now 27 year old authority demonstrates the accessibility of returning to revisit the final order still remains; Critchell v Critchell [2015] EWCA Civ 436. An important question was answered as to revisiting an order where the basis of the final order was to meet “needs”. Given the modest asset profile divided by consent, the needs of W were said to have been met, thereafter, an inheritance received by H, a month post-settlement, was argued as being irrelevant given needs had been catered for within the consent order.

However, it was held on appeal that it was entirely correct to revisit the consent order on the basis that the needs met under the original consideration were confined by the assets, “if more resources were available, needs could be more fully provided for“. The case also clearly demonstrates the weight of the argument of need against attempts to exclude inherited wealth whether during or after a marriage; this third-party wealth arriving even post final order.

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