A woman who was asked to stay on as her husband’s housekeeper after he moved his mistress into their home is entitled to half his fortune, a court has ruled.
The wealthy couple lived in London, the Telegraph reports. They married in the 1970s and divorced in the 1990s, but still continued living together, seeing the divorce, in the words of Mr Justice Bodey, as “just a piece of paper”.
However, the man, who is now in his 70s, eventually met another woman. The judge explained:
“The husband installed the other woman and her 12-year-old daughter into the marital home.”
When he then asked his wife, in her 50s, whether she would stay on “as some sort of housekeeper”, she found the idea “demeaning and upsetting”.
The husband was reportedly confused by his ex-wife’s reaction and when she launched financial proceedings, “could not come to terms with why she, through her lawyers, had become so aggressive.”
The man argued that she had signed an agreement which meant he was entitled to a maximum of £3.4 million. His assets exceeded £13 million. She insisted, meanwhile, that she had only signed the agreement under duress.
But Mr Justice Bodey said “no distinction” could be made between the couple’s lives before the divorce and afterwards and said the woman was entitled to a settlement of £6 million.