Recently, an estranged wife was awarded nearly half of the £1bn marital assets in a divorce in London. The wife was awarded £453m, 41% of the marital assets.
The husband is a wealthy oil and gas trader and had 2 children with the wife over a 20 year marriage. The wife did not work. Both parties accused the other of having affairs. The wife provided photographs showing their intimate relationship continued after these affairs.
The judge decided to make this award as, he said, the wealth has been built up over the course of the marriage through ‘equal contributions to the welfare of the family, and should be subject to the sharing principle.’
The sharing principle is a legal principle which says in long marriages the starting point for sharing of matrimonial assets is 50/50.
This decision, reinforces the idea that for the financially weaker spouse it may be beneficial to issue divorce proceedings in London. The law in England and Wales recognises the homemakers contribution to the marriage as equal to a financial contribution.
The law in England and Wales has built up with the Courts decision on different cases and the Courts now recognise that one spouse who does not financially contribute to the family home and life has the same interest in the matrimonial assets as the spouse who has financially maintained the family and their home.
This is a huge step forward from the way the Courts dealt with separation of matrimonial assets on divorce, years ago.
At OH Parsons we can offer you expert, specialist Family Law Advice for your individual situation. If you are the financially weaker spouse and you have questions or concerns about what may happen if you separate, contact us now.