The case of Villiers v Villiers: The long-awaited Supreme Court docket judgment in Villiers v Villiers [2020] UKSC 30 was handed down this week. 

This case addresses the circumstance wherein divorce proceedings have been commenced inside one jurisdiction by one get together however the place it’s doable for the opposite get together to make a declare for upkeep in one other. 

The Villiers case concerned a pair who final resided as a married couple in Scotland however the place the spouse had subsequently moved again to England which was her nation of origin. 

Although the husband had filed his divorce software and a monetary software in Scotland, there had been a delay in serving the spouse who had then filed her declare for upkeep in England.  

England has a notoriously beneficiant upkeep regime the place excessive quantum; long-term upkeep is out there. By stark distinction, in Scotland, the time period is restricted to a handful of years at finest. 

The husband challenged the English courtroom’s proper to find out the problems of upkeep however was unsuccessful within the Supreme Court docket.

EU Upkeep Laws

The “loophole” that the spouse efficiently discovered is linked to the EU Maintenance Regulations as embodied in home regulation as a part of the jurisdictional interaction with Scotland. The identical scenario would apply to Northern Eire as effectively. 

On a broader scale, pending the complete dedication of the Brexit preparations, it could additionally apply in cross-border disputes with EU international locations as effectively. 

This makes it doable for monetary claims restricted to upkeep to be introduced in England /Wales though the divorce and different monetary points are being addressed in one other jurisdiction. 

Though the monetary claims in England are restricted to upkeep solely, it being appropriately conceded that the opposite monetary points have been to be handled alongside the divorce in Scotland, upkeep beneath the EU Upkeep Laws is open to a large interpretation. 


Publish-Brexit, we’ve got but to see what the last word way forward for the EU Upkeep Laws will likely be to see if this judgement can have a extra common software or whether or not this considerably complicated set of rules will fall away following 31 December 2020. 

Get in contact 

When you have any questions on the problems raised within the case of Villiers v Villiers concerning cross-jurisdictional / worldwide household points please contact Julian or one other member of the team and they are going to be glad to assist.