Outcome: Orders made
1 The Husband filed a summons for further orders in respect of an ancillary order, in particular, seeking orders for the Wife to pay him certain sums allegedly owing under the ancillary order.
2 The court took the position that its findings in the application fell within the scope of the liberty to apply provision. The Husband’s application was allowed in part, as regards his entitlement to a share of the net equity of properties which constituted matrimonial assets.
3 An order granting “liberty to apply” serves only to supplement the main orders, so that the main orders may be carried out, rather than to vary the order of court. Only matters that would supplement the main orders would be considered: at  and .
4 In interpreting court orders, one should start with the natural and ordinary meaning of the words in the order and way they are used, and consider the entire order. Each part of the order must be read consistently with the other parts of the order and the intention of the court granting the order. The order of court must also be consistent with prevailing principles: at .
5 Even if the court’s findings go beyond the scope of the “liberty to apply” clause which would require a separate application, the incorrect application may constitute a procedural irregularity which would not be fatal. Under r 10 of the Family Justice Rules 2014 (“FJR”), non-compliance with the FJR is treated as an irregularity but does not invalidate the proceedings or any step taken therein. Additionally, under r 10(2) of the FJR, the court has the power to cure the irregularity by making any orders it deems fit, but it will not do so where: (a) doing so would cause prejudice; (b) the nature of the error is so serious or fundamental that it cannot be cured; (c) the mandatory nature of the rule may be construed as excluding cure; (d) the rule is sufficiently comprehensive to cover non-compliance; or (e) the substantive application, if made, would have failed: at .
The full text of the decision can be found here.
This summary is provided to assist the public to have a better understanding of the Court’s judgment. It is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the Court. All numbers in bold font and square brackets refer to the corresponding paragraph numbers in the Court’s judgment.