Husband loses appeal against financial settlement ruling in which the wife received 70 per cent of the money

ChequeA man whose wife was awarded 70 per cent of the couple’s capital in their divorce settlement has lost his appeal against the ruling.

The couple had been married for a decade and jointly owned five homes. When the couple divorced, the man was ordered to pay his former wife ‘periodical’ maintenance payments of £1,070 per month, index linked to inflation until their son, then three, begin secondary school. Meanwhile, the wife was awarded 70 per cent of the couple’s joint capital because she would be the ‘resident’ parent, looking after their son. In addition the husband had higher earning potential than his former wife and would continue to do so. The higher share would allow her to buy another home to live in and pay off some debts.

The husband was unhappy with the settlement and appealed.

But appeal court judges Lady Justice Black and Sir Stephen Sedley ruled against him. They said the original judge ha been entitled to conclude that the husband had the capacity to work longer hours and earn money for the family, while the wife would be restricted her ability to work by caring for their child.

It was reasonable for the judge to focus first on the needs of the child and his mother. Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 clearly defines a duty to give:

“…first consideration … to the welfare while a minor of any child of the family who has not attained the age of eighteen.”

The judge had not ignored the husband’s needs and he would still be able to meet is expenses, the Appeal Court declared.

Photo by David Goehring via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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6 comments

JamesB - July 19, 2013 at 11:20am

The 1973 MCA is in very great need of change, it is not right or fair at all at the moment.

Luke - July 19, 2013 at 2:09pm

“But appeal court judges Lady Justice Black and Sir Stephen Sedley ruled against him. They said the original judge ha been entitled to conclude that the husband had the capacity to work longer hours and earn money for the family, while the wife would be restricted her ability to work by caring for their child.”
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This is their excuse for giving the woman SEVENTY per cent of the assets !
That is unbelievable – these Judges should be fired.

steve - July 19, 2013 at 5:15pm

although we do not know the full facts but it appears madness!!!!!

JamesB - July 20, 2013 at 10:23am

Luke, to be fair to the Judges (who I hate for their excessive wages and lack of common sense or empathy, etc.), it is not them who make or made the law. The politicians made the ridiculous laws and have the ability to change them.

Luke - July 21, 2013 at 10:31pm

James B, I don’t agree, the politicians may make bad laws – but in most cases in family court it is how they are interpreted that counts – the bizarre ruling that the man only gets a 30% share of the assets is down to the Judges alone – they have no excuse.

Laura - August 2, 2013 at 10:29pm

My partner suffer the same treatment in court having to agree to support two stepdaughters for his ex to sign the divorce after an acronymous divorce, in my opinion this is blackmail courts and laws and lawyers are aware of this type of agreements and do nothing to stop it. If it wasn’t for family handouts and our long working hours we will he could end up living under the bridge courts can call this fair treatment!!!!

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