A Divorce & Financial Assets

Our Family Law team were instructed by a wife who had filed an application for financial remedy. The husband and wife had been married for nine years with no children, they had been separated for 12 months, and she had obtained her decree absolute. She lived in a house that had belonged to her grandfather for 60 years. At the time of the marriage, the wife owned the former matrimonial home in Cheshire. It was valued at £290,000 and had a mortgage of £43,000. The wife worked earning £25,000 gross. The wife had a small stakeholder pension with a cash value of £10,000. She had a frozen pension built up prior to their marriage with a value of £130,000. The husband’s income was a little less than the wife’s, his pension fund was £25,000 and he was living in rented accommodation.

The wife’s position was the husband had contributed very little working spasmodically, playing a lot of golf and going out with his friends. She felt there was a good reason for the court to give her more of the assets because the home was in her sole name and had been gifted to her by her grandfather many years before the parties married. The valuer had provided a retrospective value showing the property was worth £170,000 when the parties married.

On behalf of the wife we arranged to treat the first hearing as a Final Dispute Resolution (FDR). The judge indicated there should be a departure from sharing the assets equally and the husband received a lump sum of £60,000 with the wife retaining her home and pension.

The wife was raising the money partly by taking 25% lump sum from her pension and the balance by remortgage. The wife’s priorities were to keep her home and as much of her pension as possible. As the case settled at the first hearing costs were kept to a minimum. The court approved the order and the client was delighted with the outcome.