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Family Law

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18 MAR 2015

MAP v MFP [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam)

MAP v MFP [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam)
(Family Division, MoorJ, 10 March 2015)

The judicially approved judgment and accompanying headnote has now published in Family Law Reports [2016] 1 FLR 70]


Financial remedies –Add-back – Conduct of the husband – Husband had drug and alcohol addictions –Wife dismissed from family company

The full Judgment is attached below

The wife received£12.3m of total assets of approximately £25m in full and final settlement ofher financial claim following the divorce and in respect of any potential claimfor unfair dismissal.

The husband and wifewere married for 40 years. They had four adult children. Together they built upa successful business in property maintenance which was worth approximately£26m. After the separation the wife remained in the matrimonial home which wasworth approximately £2.3m. In addition they husband and wife had twosubstantial properties in Spain.

The husband sufferedfrom addictions to cocaine and alcohol for which he had sought treatment atvarious international facilities but he had been unable to remain abstinent.During the parties separation there was a dispute and the wife was dismissedfrom the company. She thereafter stopped receiving her salary.

The wife sought 50% ofthe assets including the former matrimonial home, one of the Spanish propertiesand the mobile home. In addition she sought an-add back of £1.5m to reflect thehusband’s reckless expenditure. She further sought to retain her 5% interest inthe company.

There was no doubtthat the husband’s dismissal of the wife from the company had cost her greatlyin that she was unable to claim entrepreneur’s relief on the sale of hershares. The cost of that was £271,800.

The judge came to theconclusion that an add-back should not be allowed. A significant sum had beenspent on the husband’s drug addiction and prostitution but a spouse must takehis or her partner as he or she found them. Many very successful people wereflawed. It would be wrong to allow the wife to take advantage of the husband’sgreat abilities that enabled him to make such a success of the company whilenot taking the financial hit from his personality flaw that led to his cocaineaddiction and his inability to rid himself of the habit. It may have beenmorally culpable. Overall, it was irresponsible. But it was not deliberate orwanton dissipation.

The wife should not bepenalised for being dismissed by the husband who could have found a solution tothe problem if he had so chosen. The cost of that decision, namely, theentrepreneur’s relief would be added back.

From overall assets ofjust over £25m the wife would receive £12.3m plus £60,000 in respect ofmaintenance arrears and £75,000 in relation to the dividend she would have beenentitled to had she not been dismissed from the company. £3m would be paidwithin 42 days and the balance within 3 years. In the meantime she wouldreceive periodical payments of £164,770 pa.

The order would be the full and final settlement ofall claims including the wife’s potential claim for wrongful dismissal.



IMPORTANT NOTICE

This judgment was delivered in private. The judge has given leave for this version of the judgment to be published.  No person named in this version of the judgment may be identified by name or location and the parties' anonymity must be strictly preserved.  All persons, including representatives of the media, must ensure that this condition is strictly complied with.  Failure to do so will be a contempt of court

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam)

Case No: FD13D02888

IN THE FAMILY COURT

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 10/03/2015
Before:

Mr Justice Moor

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Between :

MAP
 Petitioner

- and –

MFP
 Respondent

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Mr Christopher Pocock QC and Ms Katherine Kelsey for the Petitioner
Mr Brent Molyneux for the Respondent

Hearing dates:  9th to 13th February 2015

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JUDGMENT

MAP v MFP [2015] EWHC 627 (Fam) 
Emergency Remedies in the Family Courts

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