Tuesday, 13 March 2007

Rich husbands wait for £48m divorce ruling

A Shropshire solicitor claims a multi-million pound divorce case which has been hitting the national headlines could turn the tide for rich husbands.

Nadia Davis, who leads the Family Team at Martin-Kaye Solicitors, in Euston Way, Telford, said the case was being seen as a landmark hearing for husbands who were unhappy about the payouts their wives could receive.

“The case is being heard at The Court of Appeal, and it really could bring a change in the way divorce settlements of this kind are considered.”

Nadia said the current case was an appeal by a wealthy husband against the court’s decision to award his wife a sizeable share of the family assets.

“The husband is an insurance tycoon who was ordered to pay his wife £48 million in their divorce settlement, which was the equivalent of 37 per cent of their overall assets.

“He had spent 35 years building up their £131 million fortune from almost nothing, and his wife had been the homemaker throughout their long marriage.

“But the husband claims it was thanks to his exceptional contribution that their fortune had grown, and that the amount paid to his wife was grotesque and unfair.”

Nadia said the tycoon’s wife claimed her contribution as his wife and the mother of his children entitled her to a substantial part of their joint wealth.

“If The Court of Appeal agrees with the husband in this case, and reduces the payout to his wife, it may well give hope to husbands everywhere who have built up substantial assets while their wife stayed at home to look after the family.

“When the marriage breaks down, husbands in this position often have to split the assets equally with their wife, but if the court allows this change, things could be very different in the future.
“It’s clear that the outcome of this case will have a real impact on the way divorce cases are dealt with by the lower courts, no matter what their financial value.”