Welch v Welch [2015] EWHC 2622 (Fam)

Written by Sam Carroll

November 30, 2015

A Judge in the High Court has made an extended civil restraint order against a wife whose approach to litigation had been described as “obsessive, or obsessional, and indeed irrational'”.

This type of order is made when a person’s application to court is refused but they won’t accept the judge’s decision. It stops that person from re- applying to court. If a person continues to go back to court, a judge can issues an extended civil restraint order which lasts 2 years (although it can be renewed for a further 2 years)

The judge noted that the proceedings had also been “phenomenally expensive”. Mrs Welch now owed a costs debt to Mr Welch of around £70,000 in addition to a debt of £441,000 to her solicitors. He added that she should not be permitted to start more litigation against her husband ( unless it was an application to vary the level of periodical payments, and/or for the discharge of the suspension of the payment of maintenance imposed by an earlier order)

In this particular case Holman J said:

“Frankly, this bitter and intense litigation must be closed to the maximum extent possible, subject only to variation of maintenance … It is quite extraordinarily destructive.”

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