A case has recently been reported where a father was allowed to appeal a Financial Order in his divorce despite being out of time, because the circumstances that the Court’s decision was based on had dramatically changed.

The couple began divorce proceedings in 2013, and they had two children, now aged 13 and 10.  Under the financial settlement, it was agreed that the children would share their time equally with their parents but that the mother would receive 70% of the equity in the family home so that she could afford a house for her and the two children.  The father received 30% as he had a healthy wage and a better opportunity to get a mortgage.

Things went as planned, until the mother had a physical disagreement with her teenage daughter.  This resulted in both children giving evidence against their mother in court, and their relationship sadly deteriorated. They decided to live with their father permanently.

The intended shared care arrangement was no longer in place, and it was the father’s belief that his ex-wife should no longer benefit from a settlement based on that arrangement.

What is a Barder Event?

The father decided to seek permission to appeal the original order, based on the above being a “Barder Event” which was created under a 1988 case of Barder v Barder.  A Barder Event is where a significant change in circumstance could justify appealing a financial settlement outside of the time limits for appeals.

The father in this case made an application to seek permission to appeal the Financial Order, and it was confirmed this week by Mr Justice Holman that he is allowed to do. What is unfortunate is that the parties have already incurred £30,000 in costs leading up to this point, which shows just how much time was spent disputing the issues prior to the father making an application the Court. Perhaps if the parties had made mutual compromises, they both could have walked away without having to waste costs.

If you believe that a financial order you received is no longer fair due to something happening after the Order, it may be possible for you to appeal it based on it being a Barder Event.  If you would like to discuss this with us, please contact rhw Solicitors in Guildford on 01483 302000 or email rhw@rhw.co.uk