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Judge tells couple financial settlement ‘should be easy’

A High Court Judge has criticised a couple arguing over the terms of their divorce settlement.

Mr Justice Holman told Randy Work and his estranged wife Mandy Gray that they had “plenty of money to go round” and no major issues. Agreeing a settlement “should be so easy”, he declared, urging them to reach an agreement.

The Judge continued: “People who are struggling to afford two-bedroom houses have difficulties.”

When the US-born couple married in the 1990s,they didn’t have “a bean” in the Judge’s words. They went on to have two children, now aged 15 and 12, with Mandy staying at home to look after them. Randy, meanwhile, forged a successful career with a private equity company, initially in Texas, then Tokyo, before the family relocated again, this time to UK. They set up home in London and are both still resident there.

While in Japan, Mr Work made millions for his firm, accumulating a personal fortune estimated at £150 million, the Belfast Telegraph reports. But when the marriage broke down, Mr Work argued that his wife was only entitled to £5 million- approximately £3 million after costs – as she had failed to abide by the terms of a postnuptial agreement signed in Texas in October 2000. Under this agreement, the £5 million was classed as her own property.

Mr Work admitted that Mandy had been a good wife and mother, and said she would have received a minimum of £70 million under the agreement in different circumstances.

His ex-wife, meanwhile, disputed his claims, saying the agreement gave her the right to “any form of financial provision the court has power to order”. As the family fortune had been generated during the marriage, it should be divided equally, she insisted.

The Judge said:

“At the moment I am not sure Mr Work and I are on the same planet.”

The case continues.

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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