OConnell v Lovell [divorce property] [2017] EWFC B99

Written by Sam Carroll

June 28, 2018

The wife in this case refused to move out of her flat despite having given an undertaking (a promise to the Court which is legally binding) that she would do so. The breach of an undertaking is considered contempt of Court and is punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment.

The husband applied for her committal to prison for breach of her undertaking.  At that hearing the wife did not seek to challenge the fact there had been a breach, rather she asked that the judge exercise his discretion. The Judge emphasised the importance of an undertaking and stated that a person who provides the Court with an undertaking should comply with it’s terms.

He therefore ordered that the wife be committed to prison for a period of two months, suspended for two years.

He made a costs order in the sum sought by the husband (£24,085.20).


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