Financial provision for a Wife caring for a child with Autism

Holly represented a Wife in proceedings brought by her former Husband to resolve the financial issues between them following their divorce. He sought an equal split of the parties’ assets and a clean break, to include a sale of the family home in which the Wife and child were residing. The child had been diagnosed as having Autism and was awaiting assessment for ADHD.

The Wife fought strongly to be able to remain in the family home during the child’s minority on the basis that autism would make a transition to a new home difficult. She also sought a 60/40 split of the assets on the basis of her enhanced role in caring for the child and the fact that her earning capacity was lower as a result of her role as carer. She sought to keep her financial claims for income from the Husband open during the child’s minority.

Judgment was given after a full day of evidence, in which much was contested. Holly’s representation persuaded the judge that the child’s needed to remain in the family home during minority. The Wife was awarded 60% of the assets, and the values of the parties’ pensions were equalised. The judge declined to order a clean break, instead putting in place a nominal periodical payments order to keep the Wife’s income claims against the Husband open during the child’s minority.