A legal amendment that was made during the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the witnessing of wills to take place via videoconferencing has officially expired. As of 31 January 2024, the...Continue reading
A ‘spiteful and wicked’ husband, who branded his wife a psychopath in the midst of their £5.6 million divorce, has been hit hard in the pocket after a judge condemned him as a man who ‘stops at nothing’ to get what he wants.
The man claimed that his wife had made no financial contribution to their marriage and had given him ‘no support’ in bringing up the couple’s three teenage daughters. He argued that he had ‘single-handedly’ raised their children and that his wife’s disruptive behaviour had caused emotional and psychological trauma to the family.
However, a divorce judge roundly rejected the shocking picture he painted of his wife, concluding that she had contributed equally to the marriage and ‘he was the one applying emotional and psychological pressure’ to his daughters.
The judge valued the former couple’s assets at £5.6 million. They included their £1.2 million matrimonial home and a portfolio of land and villas in Morocco. He handed the six-bedroom home to the wife, along with the whole of her husband’s Self-Invested Personal Pension and a £16,000 lump sum.
The husband challenged the judge’s decision at the Court of Appeal, insisting that the division of marital assets was unfair. Although the children lived with him, his wife had been awarded everything which the couple owned in the UK, leaving him with only ‘risky, speculative and illiquid’ assets in Morocco.
Allowing the husband’s appeal in part, the Court noted that the children’s welfare had to be taken into account. He was granted extra time in which to find an alternative property in which to live before the matrimonial home was sold and the proceeds paid to the wife. The Court also made adjustments to the pension sharing order in the husband’s favour and excused him from having to pay the £16,000 lump sum.
When marriages break up, the division of the assets is often contentious. However, making allegations against a former spouse which cannot be substantiated – even if they are relevant to the division of assets, which they usually are not – normally brings scant reward.