On appeal from: [2018] EWCA Civ 1120

This appeal, brought by the husband, concerned the jurisdiction of an English court to make a maintenance order in favour of the wife under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973, s 27 (as amended) when the parties had mostly lived in Scotland and the divorce proceedings were conducted there. The English High Court had rejected the husband’s challenge and ordered maintenance to be paid by the husband. The husband unsuccessfully appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal. The husband appealed to the Supreme Court in relation to the jurisdictional issues.

A majority of the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal. Lord Sales, delivering lead judgment for the Court, considered, inter alia, that the EU legislation governing jurisdiction in cross-border cases treats maintenance obligations and questions of marital status as separate matters for the purposes of jurisdiction. Maintenance obligations are covered by their own inter-state jurisdiction regime set out in the Maintenance Regulation. Schedule 6 applies the provisions of the Maintenance Regulation to the allocation of jurisdiction for intra-state cases within the United Kingdom relating to maintenance.

For judgment, please download: [2020] UKSC 30

For Court’s press summary, please download: Court’s press summary

For a non-PDF version of the judgment, please visit: BAILII

To watch the hearing please visit: Supreme Court website: 9 December 2019 morning and afternoon session and 10 December 2019 morning session.

To watch the judgment summary, please visit: Supreme Court website: Judgment Summary, 1 July 2020