Achieving a fair financial split for a wife, many years after separation

Holly acted for a wife in financial proceedings following a long marriage. The parties had been together for over 20 years, and separated for 10, before seeking to deal with their finances. The wife was now in a long-term and committed relationship whilst the husband had remained in the family home.

Based on the financial contribution that he said he had made to paying the mortgage and debts since separation, the husband sought almost 80% of the net proceeds of sale of the family home. He also relied upon the wife’s cohabitation with another man to suggest that she needed less from the sale of the property.

The wife sought an equal split of the net equity and an equalisation of the income from the husband’s public sector pension, which was in payment. He received an additional payment each month for an injury that he received whilst working, which had been paid for the past 20 years. The wife sought to include this payment in the equalisation of pension incomes. The husband sought to exclude it.

At final hearing Holly secured for the wife 45% of the net proceeds of sale of the property, and an equalisation of pension income including the injury compensation payment. The judge was persuaded that the payment formed part of the marital pot and should be utilised to meet the wife’s needs in retirement. The husband’s argument based on his payment of debts was rejected due to a lack of evidence and the fact that a number had been interest payments only.