Critchell v Critchell [2015] EWCA Civ 436 – Judgment of the Court of Appeal restating the application of the principle in Barder v Barder (Caluori intervening) [1987] 2 FLR 480

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The case of Critchell v Critchell [2015] EWCA Civ 436 is a decision of the Court of Appeal in financial remedy proceedings.


The background to the appeal involves financial proceedings, which settled at first instance at the Financial Dispute Resolution hearing and involved modest assets. However, the husband’s father died shortly after the consent order (within a month of the order) and he inherited further monies.


The wife sought to appeal the consent order due to the inheritance received by the husband. The wife argued that the husband’s inheritance was a relevant Barder event and consequently, meant that the consent order should be varied in light of the inheritance.


HHJ Wright allowed the wife’s appeal and varied the parties’ financial remedy order. The husband then appealed to the Court of Appeal. The appeal was dismissed. Lady Justice Black stated that the husband’s inheritance received so shortly after the conclusion of the proceedings impacted upon the case, as the husband no longer required the interest in the former matrimonial home that the original consent order provided for. There had been a fundamental change in the parties’ needs. Nevertheless, Lady Justice Black also commented that it is rare for a case to fall within the Barder principles.