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Clear evidence about contributions

Many people incorrectly assume that “contributions” will play a big part in divorce cases.


In the recent case of Christoforou (2016) the High Court has explained that if a party is going to argue that wealth is derived from assets or contribution from one party or the other there needs to be clear evidence about the point.  The court should not have to embark on a detailed forensic examination of finances to come to the conclusion and the need to do so may even assist the argument that there has been no special contribution.  In other words when applied in most cases it can’t be all that special if it isn't obvious and clear.


The husband was unsuccessfully trying to make the point but the judge’s comments that his evidence was “largely based on an indifference to the truth and was motivated by what he seeks to achieve…..rather than upon his true recollection of events” cannot have been helpful to his case.


Sometimes the principles from very big money cases are difficult to apply in smaller cases where often the judgments have to be more finely calibrated and smaller amounts have larger consequences but in reaching his conclusion the judge reminds everyone of the need to avoid getting bogged down in disproportionate detail and to “help the court to further the overriding objective”…which quite simply is to deal with cases fairly.



Ian Stirzaker


Ian is the Senior Partner and Head of Family Law at SME Solicitors. Please contact him or Joanna Gardner for specialist help and advice in all aspects of family law at or

Added: 25 Aug 2017 15:03

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