A separation agreement signed by the parties in 1991 has been upheld by the High Court some 22 years after it was signed.
The agreement had been signed by the parties and conformed with all the requirements of a concluded agreement but had never been put before the Court for approval. The wife in this case gave no explanation for that failure and the husband had thought his solicitors had done so. The wife sought financial remedies and argued that the agreement was peripheral to the case on the basis that there had been material non-disclosure, she had been under pressure from the husband at the time, and she had been bullied by her solicitor at the time into entering into the agreement. There had been no reconciliation and the parties had relied on the agreement as a basis for their independent lives since their separation. The agreement included provision for a clean break.
The Court considered that both parties had been under pressure for different reasons to bring matters between them to a conclusion but there was nothing to suggest that the agreement was not fair at the time and that the wife had not been competently advised. The Court held that this was therefore an agreement which was entered into, intended to be acted upon, and was acted upon. The length of time since the agreement was entered into further secured it. The wife was therefore unsuccessful in her claim.
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