‘A Practical Guide to the Death of a Spouse During Divorce Proceedings’ by Chris Bryden


Paperback: 978-1-916698-33-8
Published: June 2024
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This practical guide to the death of a spouse provides a useful overview of the different areas of law and remedies that can arise where a spouse dies during the course of separation. It covers the position regarding financial remedy proceedings, depending upon the stage to which divorce proceedings have progressed and addresses the legal difficulties that death can cause. It seeks to provide information to practitioners of the approach to take in such circumstances depending upon the factual and legal position, and gives an analysis of potential claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996, and the operation of the doctrine of survivorship.

A combination of a practical analysis of the legal frameworks and case law that applies, and practical tips and guidance for practitioners that find themselves in a position which may not be legally familiar to them, this guide is an essential addition to any private client lawyer’s written resources. Accessible, approachable, but sufficiently weighty in its analysis, it is bound to become the indispensable handbook in its field.


Chris Bryden is a barrister practising out of the Chambers of Gavin Holme at 4 King’s Bench Walk, where he is Joint Deputy Head of Chambers, Head of Family and Head of Property. He is ranked in the Legal 500 as a leading Junior, and has, throughout his career, taken the decision to gain expertise in a number of linked areas of work which loosely fall into the description of private client, or “people law” as he tends to call it. This means that he has rapidly become the person clients go to where there are cross-over areas, such as where a spouse dies during divorce proceedings; where there is a family element to a will dispute of 1975 Act claim; where there are Intervenors, or companies and commercial interests, in financial remedy proceedings; or where there are complex legal questions that require a practical solution.

Excellent with clients, Chris is a tenacious cross-examiner and a persuasive advocate. He is equally comfortable in court or in round table meetings or mediations. He is regularly instructed in private FDRs, mediations and other negotiations due to his pragmatic approach and practical style. He is routinely brought in at an early stage of a case to advise on strategy and tactics, and he has developed a formidable team of junior practitioners in Chambers who have adopted the same ethos. As a result of his tutelage and mentoring, 4KBW is fast becoming a Chambers in which the junior practitioners that he has trained are likewise called upon in respect of cross-over areas of law in the same manner as he is, meaning that Chambers is able to provide a full service to its clients without the need to obtain separate specialist advice elsewhere. This unique offering is, professionally, the thing of which he is most proud.


Chapter One – Introduction
Chapter Two – Death Before Decree Absolute or Order
Chapter Three – Death After Decree Absolute but Before Approval of an Order
Chapter Four – Death After Decree Absolute and Approval but Before Implementation
Chapter Five – Survivorship
Chapter Six – Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996
Chapter Seven – Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
Chapter Eight – Conclusion