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Divorcing wife awarded £45,000 a month

The wife of a multimillionaire Malaysian businessman has been awarded £45,000 a month as their divorce continues, The Telegraph reports.

Pauline Chai, now 68, was married to Khoo Kay Peng for 42 years before she filed for divorce in 2013. Her 75 year-old husband is chairman of investment group Malaysia United Industries, which owns a 40 per cent stake in fashion retailer Laura Ashley.

She now lives in a £30 million estate in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, and is pursuing the divorce through the English courts after a court in Kuala Lumpur rejected Mr Peng’s bid to have the divorce heard in Malaysia.

Ms Chai claims her husband has assets in excess of £400 million. She has demanded £85,000 a month in maintenance, saying she needs this to meet her lifestyle requirements. Her lawyers told the court that she had had to make cutbacks since separating from her husband – cutting her own hair, for example, and no longer going on holiday. She has, they said, also given up her hobby of collecting dolls’ houses.

But sitting at the High Court, Mrs Justice Roberts noted that she had spent on £950,000 on various outgoings between May 2013 and February 2014.

“I am unable to accept the picture which she paints of a somewhat frugal existence, deprived of the opportunity to socialise with friends and/or to take care adequately of her personal needs in terms of clothing and hairdressing.”

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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