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ExperiencedLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 311
Experience:  I have 14+ years of experience as a family lawyer, advising people on all kinds of relationship and family law issues.
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At a recent final hearing, the judge had produced a written

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At a recent final hearing, the judge had produced a written statement. In this, based on a actuarial report, he had awarded the husband a 14.9% share of the wife's pension. There were various options in the report, all of which had a percentage reduction for 'unequal cash flows'. This had not been applied to the option that gave 14.9% as the pension share. In effect 14.9% was the 'top line'. As the written judgement was only given to the parties on the morning of the hearing, we were asked to check it for any errors. It was spotted straight away that the 14.9% was based on all pensions rather than those based on 'date of cohabitation and the date of separation' (Quote from judgement). When this error was pointed out, the judge agreed it was wrong and agreed that the 'top line' from the appropriate part of the report was 31.9%. The wife's advocate then asked the judge to consider a percentage reduction for 'unequal cash flows' as it was not fair to award the 'top line'. The judge listened to this and although it was challenged by the husband's advocate, (only on the basis of fairness, not on the point that a decision on this had already been made), the judge agreed to the reduction.
My question is 'Can a judgement effectively made in the judgment, i.e. that there should be no reduction for unequal cash flows be overturned in court on the basis that it is not fair to one of the parties?
Many thanks
Keith Gordon
Hello Keith,
My name is Mac. I can help you with your question.
The written judgement that was handed down in advance is effectively in draft until the judge formally delivers it. As such it is open to him to change part of it if he wishes. (Indeed, it appears that he did that initially in a way to which you do not object). It is not therefore a case of the judge overturning his own judgement, but of altering his provisional judgement in the final version of the judgement subsequently given.
Of course, it is open to you to seek to appeal the decision that was made if you wish. Your advocate will be able to assist you with both making that decision and filing an appeal. No doubt if you did appeal, then the actions that you have described in your message - including the judge originally making an error, correcting that error, but then in so doing making another error - would feature in the centre of that appeal.
I hope that is helpful (if not exactly what you would have ideally like to have heard).
Kind regards,
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