Laura Rita Gifford (formerly Parkinson) (Applicant Appellant) v James Arnold Parkinson

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date01 February 1968
Judgment citation (vLex)[1968] EWCA Civ J0201-1
CourtCourt of Appeal (Civil Division)
Date01 February 1968

[1968] EWCA Civ J0201-1

In The Supreme Court of Judicature

Court of Appeal

Civil Division

From Mr District Registrar G.N.P. White at Preston.


The Master of the Rolls (Lord Denning)

Lord Justice Danckwerts and

Lord Justice Widgery

In the Matter of the Married Women's Property Act 1882

Laura Rita Gifford (formerly Parkinson)
Applicant Appellant
James Arnold Parkinson

Mr T.G. GUEST (instructed by Messrs Gilmore Tylee & Naylor, Agents for Messrs John Whitehead Marsden &. Huck, of Preston) appeared as Counsel for the Appellant.

Mr R. HOULKER (instructed by Messrs Smith, Fazackerley 6: Co.) appeared as Counsel for the Respondent.


THE MASTER OP THE ROLLS: This case raises a very short point but it often arises and it is as well to have it resolved.


The parties married some time ago and have three children. On the 3rd February, 1961, they bought a house, No. 11 Broad Oak Green, Penwortham, near Preston. It was conveyed into their joint names and belonged to them in equal shares. The purchase price was 2,225, of which 1,850 was left on mortgage.


Four years later on the 19th February, 1965, the wife left the house taking one child with her. The husband stayed on in the house with the other two children. His father and mother came into the house to look after them. The husband thenceforward paid all the mortgage repayments, which were partly in respect of capital and partly interest.


The husband petitioned for divorce on the ground of his wife's adultery. On the 24th January, 1966, a decree nisi was pronounced and it was later made absolute. The wife remarried.


In 1967 the wife took out a summons to ascertain her share of the house. The Registrar made an order that she was to transfer her share to the husband at a sum to be assessed. The question is how it is to be assessed.


At the date when the wife left, on the 19th February, 1965, the value of the house was 2,400 and the mortgage was 1.765. But it has since been reduced to 1,665. So the value of the equity after payment of the mortgage is now 735. That is agreed. The wife's share of that is 367.10s. Od. But since the wife left, the husband has made mortgage repayments amounting to 378.7s. Id. He should be given credit for half of those payments. If one joint tenant pays all the outgoings, he is entitled to have half of them from the other joint tenant. The Registrar gave the husband credit for half, namely, 189. 3s.6d., in accordance with a direction of Lord JusticeRussell in Wilson v. Wilson 1963, 1 Weekly Law Reports, p. 611. He also gave him credit for half the cost of transfer (which will be incurred when the house is sold) 13. 2s.6d. So he arrived at the total credit to the husband to be 202. 6s.0a. (189. 3s.6d. plus 13. 2s.6d.) That meant that the husband had to pay the wife for her share the sum of 367.10s. Od. less 202. 6s.0d., that is 165.


But I am afraid the Registrar overlooked one other matter. After the wife left, the husband had the benefit of the occupation of the house. That must be taken into account on the other side, just as it...

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