Saturday, 16 May 2009


The first step in seeking to negotiate a financial and property settlement as a result of the breakdown in a marriage or civil partnership is to make a full and frank disclosure of means. Generally, whether matters are resolved by consent, mediation, or court order, a prescribed questionnaire known as Form E is used. One section of the form deals with “income needs,” where all current and future expenditure should be listed. In many cases, however, this can degenerate very much into an impossible wish list.

There was an occasion, once upon a time, when such a form completed by a client’s spouse was served on me. Annual income needs included:
£2,200 to clean moat around castle
£16,000 for mortgage interest payments on a mortgage that had been redeemed before separation
£0.59 for a chocolate Santa Claus
£304 to maintain a swimming pool
£25,000 for security patrols
£1400 for chauffeur
£600 for hanging baskets
£312 for mock Tudor boards for house exterior
£2.22 for nappies (for an adult?)
£126,648 for expenses in respect of a new partner’s flat
£0.05 for a carrier bag
£115 plus VAT for 25 light bulbs
£112.52 to refit toilet seat
£1.50 for Ikea napkins
£2,499 for a TV set
£40 for a court summons for non-payment of Council Tax
£0.38 for one Muller crunch yoghurt
£6 for dust bags for vacuum cleaner

“Delusional,” my client explained. “He thinks he’s a Member of Parliament.”


John Bolch said...

"£2,200 to clean moat around castle"? Surely, not even a Member of Parliament would claim that? Oh, hang on a minute...

Excellent post!

lawrence berezin said...


Great blog. I think it's great to add a touch of humor to a very explosive, emotional area of law. A fight for the castle can get pretty rough.

Do you run into any comments about "making light of a serious subject?"

Judith said...

Who said I was making light?