Therese St Clair Marshall and Nicholas Marshall separated after a seven-year marriage and Nicholas moved in with his parents. During financial remedy proceedings following divorce, an order was made in December 2013 for the £2million house to be sold and proceeds divided by the parties in order to achieve a clean break between the parties.
Mrs Marshall subsequently locked Mr Marshall out of the house and refused entry to estate agents. In November 2014 the court held Mrs Marshall was in contempt of court and an order was made for her arrest and bailiffs were instructed. When bailiffs attended the property they too were refused access and the Evening Standard reports that upon their attendance one of the bailiffs was injured ‘by a concrete bird feeder falling on his head from a top floor window’.
Mrs Marshall then made an application to challenge the original order and a further order for costs in the sum of £75,000 which had been made against her. Ann Hussey QC, Mr Marshall’s representative, informed the court that Mrs Marshall had admitted to ‘game-playing’ and the court should not indulge this any further. Mr Marshall had been continuing to discharge the mortgage and this was causing financial strain. Ms Hussey noted that the former matrimonial home should have already been sold so that both parties could be re-housed and start their new lives. McFarlane LJ agreed with this argument and saw no merit at all in Mrs Marshall’s appeals, therefore her appeal was dismissed and McFarlane LJ felt the order must be enforced and Mrs Marshall was also ordered to pay £5,000 towards Mr Marshall’s costs of the appeal.
During financial settlement upon separation it can often feel difficult to sell the family home due to memories or emotional ties. It is important for parties to acknowledge that in most cases it holds the majority of funds available and selling the former matrimonial home can often be necessary to enable both parties to re-house and provide a clean break. There are a number of different options to take when trying to resolve financial matters, and both parties are required to provide full and frank disclosure of their finances to enable an agreement to be reached. It is extremely important to take legal advice to ensure that you reach a fair financial settlement.
If you are considering dealing with your finances upon separation or experiencing difficulty with your former partner failing to comply with a financial order our specialist lawyers in our Altrincham or Manchester offices can talk you through your options and help you to decide which option would be the right decision for your situation. Please contact us on 0161 927 3118 for a free 20 minute consultation.