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Matrimonial Causes Act 1973

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37 Avoidance of transactions intended to prevent or reduce financial relief.E+W

(1)For the purposes of this section “financial relief” means relief under any of the provisions of sections 22, 23, 24, [F124B,] 27, 31 (except subsection (6)) and 35 above, and any reference in this section to defeating a person’s claim for financial relief is a reference to preventing financial relief from being granted to that person, or to that person for the benefit of a child of the family, or reducing the amount of any financial relief which might be so granted, or frustrating or impeding the enforcement of any order which might be or has been made at his instance under any of those provisions.

(2)Where proceedings for financial relief are brought by one person against another, the court may, on the applicaton of the first-mentioned person—

(a)if it is satisfied that the other party to the proceedings is, with the intention of defeating the claim for financial relief, about to make any disposition or to transfer out of the jurisdiction or otherwise deal with any property, make such order as it thinks fit for restraining the other party from so doing or otherwise for protecting the claim;

(b)if it is satisfied that the other party has, with that intention, made a reviewable disposition and that if the disposition were set aside financial relief or different financial relief would be granted to the applicant, make an order setting aside the disposition;

(c)if it is satisfied, in a case where an order has been obtained under any of the provisions mentioned in subsection (1) above by the applicant against the other party, that the other party has, with that intention, made a reviewable disposition, make an order setting aside the disposition;

and an application for the purposes of paragraph (b) above shall be made in the proceedings for the financial relief in question.

(3)Where the court makes an order under subsection (2)(b) or (c) above setting aside a disposition it shall give such consequential directions as it thinks fit for giving effect to the order (including directions requiring the making of any payments or the disposal of any property).

(4)Any disposition made by the other party to the proceedings for financial relief in question (whether before or after the commencement of those proceedings) as is reviewable disposition for the purposes of subsection (2)(b) and (c) above unless it was made for valuable consideration (other than marriage) to a person who, at the time of the disposition, acted in relation to it in good faith and without notice of any intention on the part of the other party to defeat the applicant’s claim for financial relief.

(5)Where an application is made under this section with respect to a disposition which took place less than three years before the date of the application or with respect to a disposition or other dealing with property which is about to take place and the court is satisfied—

(a)in a case falling within subsection (2)(a) or (b) above, that the disposition or other dealing would (apart from this section) have the consequence, or

(b)in a case falling within subsection (2)(c) above, that the disposition has had the consequence,

of defeating the applicant’s claim for financial relief, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the person who disposed of or is about to dispose of or deal with the property did so or, as the case may be, is about to do so, with the intention of defeating the applicant’s claim for financial relief.

(6)In this section “disposition” does not include any provision contained in a will or codicil but, with that exception, includes any conveyance, assurance or gift of property of any description, whether made by an instrument or otherwise.

(7)This section does not apply to a disposition made before 1st January 1968.

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Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 37 inserted (11.11.1999 for certain purposes, 1.12.2000 otherwise) by 1999 c. 30, s. 19, Sch. 3 para. 9; S.I. 2000/1116, art. 2(e)

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