A court that awarded a woman a divorce settlement sufficient to allow her to buy a house for more than £1 million and have an income of more than £100,000 a year was not persuaded that the ‘equality of assets’ principle should extend to assets her husband had inherited.
The man’s family had owned a successful business, which was sold in the 1980s. The proceeds of the sale provided the main source of the couple’s wealth, estimated to be in excess of £20 million.
The normal rule in divorce settlements is to provide for dependent children as a first priority (which was not an issue in this case) and then to divide the ‘matrimonial assets’ (those built up during the marriage) equally. However, there is not an automatic presumption of equality with regard to other assets.
In this case, the settlement sought by the man’s ex-wife was £6 million. She already possessed more than £1 million in assets in her own name.
When her ex-husband offered considerably less, the matter came to court, where Mr Justice Moylan ruled that a settlement of £4.3 million was appropriate.
For advice on all family law issues and help in negotiating financial settlements on separation or divorce, contact Alan Kiddle.