Family Law Week judgment summary: SS v RS [2023] EWFC 32

08 May 2023

Dr Martina van der Leij summarises judgment in a financial remedy case SS v RS [2023] EWFC 32 for Family Law Week. The husband had applied for a sale of the home, for his wife to compensate him and for the court  to contact the building society about his poor credit record.

The court found there could be no freestanding claim for economic loss. Also it had no power to award compensation for alleged financial detriment arising from a failure to release the husband from the mortgage on the matrimonial home transferred to the wife.

Background to the case

In March 2019, the court made a final order transferring the matrimonial home to the wife who lived there with 2 school age children of the family, on her undertaking to use best endeavours to release the husband from the mortgage by 1 April 2019, and in any event to indemnify him against this liability. He did not attend. His appeal was dismissed.

The home was transferred to the wife in June 2019. But she was unable to secure his release from the mortgage.

He claimed she had not used her best endeavours and sought compensation on the basis that:

  • he had suffered financial loss by being unable to take out another mortgage,
  • he had to pay increased interest on loans due to a poor credit rating caused by his ex-wife's failure to keep up mortgage payments.

He framed his claim for compensation under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021, s 1(2) (b) – that he had suffered economic abuse.

Read the full summary on Family Law Week.