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Hasan v Ul-Hasan (Deceased) & Anor [2021] EWHC 1791 (Fam)

7th July 2021

Judgment: The parties married in Pakistan in 1981, separated in 2006, and the husband obtained a divorce in Pakistan in 2012. He died in 2021. In 2017, the wife had been given leave to bring proceedings under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The core question was whether the unadjudicated claim by the wife under Part III survived the death of the husband and could be continued against his estate. Mostyn J noted that the Part II jurisprudence unambiguously stated that a financial claim made during marriage or following divorce expired with the death of the respondent. In his judgment, this principle applied equally whether the claim proceeded under Part II following a domestic divorce or under Part III following an overseas divorce. Although he disagreed with the decision in Sugden v Sugden [1957] P 120, he was bound by it, and thus dismissed the wife's application, since her former husband had died before her claim for financial provision following the overseas divorce could be adjudicated. However, he was also satisfied that that there was a point of law of general public importance involved, and that this would be a proper case for the grant of leave to the Court of Appeal. If there were to be a leapfrog application to the Supreme Court then the dismissal of the wife's claim would be stayed, and all injunctions would stay in force until the application for leave had been heard.