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(Family Division; David Salter, sitting as a deputy judge of the High Court; 16 January 2012)
The wife was 40, the husband was 61 and the marriage had lasted 15 years. The husband was a successful businessman working in commercial property with pre-marital wealth assessed at £823,362. The wife was unemployed, had no qualifications, only an income of £5,000 maintenance pending suit but wished to start her own business. The husband's pension was £12,000 pa plus income from various businesses consisting of salary, dividends and benefits in kind. The wife assessed income needs at £6,395 pm and wished to return to the matrimonial home where the husband had been living since separation. The husband's assessment of his own needs at £1,655 pm, high standard of living during the marriage, wife made a full and significant contribution to the running of the husband's businesses. The £820,000 of pre-marital wealth excluded, a residual sum was sufficient to meet the wife's needs and do justice to the sharing principle. The husband was to remain in matrimonial home, the wife was awarded £600,000 to fund accommodation, £50,000 for a car, £50,000 for future unexpected expenditure, taking into account high standard of living, plus £1,349 to clear overdraft. The wife's income needs of £4,500, £853 net earning capacity, Duxbury fund of £1.04m. The husband was unable to prove the wife's cohabitation with a new partner to the extent that it would impact on the award. On needs and sharing principle, outcome the same, wife awarded 40.45% of total assets.
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