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Divorcee who returned to husband awarded £2.8 million

A woman who returned to her husband following a separation has been awarded a divorce settlement of £2.8 million.

The unnamed couple were married for ten years, but separated after seven. The woman later went back to her husband, the Express & Star reports. In a statement made during the subsequent divorce proceedings, the wife said she had realised she had to “extricate myself slowly” and “put things in place”. The reconciliation gave the opportunity,  to “hide possessions…under friends’ beds”. She admitted to feeling “guilty” about the move.

Her former husband claimed she had returned solely in order to improve her financial situation, saying the reconciliation had been a “sham”. But, sitting in the Family Division, Mr Justice Coleridge disagreed, saying he did not think this had been her “sole purpose” and that the reconciliation had been “genuine on both sides”.

The couple had been wealthy, with joint assets exceeding £7 million. He was a successful businessman and she ran a restaurant business. Their home had included a stable block and they travelled regularly to Australia.

She asked for £3.9 million in settlement of the divorce, including sufficient funds to buy a home with a working stable. Her former husband countered with an offer of just £2.1 million. The judge concluded that her needs could be met by £2.8 million, including £1 million to buy a home, £1 million in cash and £400,000 in property

But, said the judge, her housing needs did not include “an equestrian element”. He also insisted that £1 million was sufficient to buy a home near London.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Andrew says:

    It’s cases like this which make family law more interesting (if less lucrative) than banking law or insurance law or most other sorts of law. There’s no limit to how weird human being can be . . . and that’s equal opps.

    As for the horses: I once handled a (very) big-money Family Provision claim in which the claimant’s “budget” included an item for care and maintenance of her dog which was exactly twice my trainee’s salary, and she was not impressed.

    She (the claimant in that case, not my trainee) was a greedy bitch. The relationship had ended three years before the man died and as you know that is too late; so she argued that as she was still living on the interest on the money he had given her he was still supporting her when he shuffled off this mortal coil.

    An argument which found short shrift with the judge who dismissed the claim with costs. Which we enforced by charging order and sale of the house the deceased had given her. T


  2. u6c00 says:

    While it may be true that your opponent was greedy, could you not find a more appropriate way of describing her instead of using a term that is explicitly derogatory and implicitly dehumanising?

    Seeing a lawyer describe their opponents in such a way does little for the reputation of lawyers generally. It’s a little disappointing that it made it through moderation.

  3. Luke says:

    Actually I disagree with you ‘u6c00’, I think given the information that Andrew put forward it sounds about the right sort of adjective to use – and I think the Oxford dictionary does too:
    2 • informal – a spiteful or unpleasant woman.

    Note: Andrew did also point out that both genders engage in this sort of stuff – I seriously wonder if it had been a man whether anybody would have complained if the words ‘greedy bastard’ had been used – actually I don’t seriously wonder, I’m pretty sure I know…

  4. Andrew says:

    Writing about a person not identified or identifiable by anyone reading this I see no reason not to use the same colourful language that we used in informal discussion in the office. The noun and the adjective were those applied to the claimant by my trainee, but neither she nor I would have used them in correspondence or in court.

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