NZ timber magnate divorce heads for Supreme Court

Family Law|June 21st 2015

A wealthy timber magnate has been granted permission to take his divorce dispute to the Supreme Court of New Zealand.

Mark Clayton has a number of substantial sawmilling businesses in Rotorua, on North Island, all in the form of trusts and standalone companies, the New Zealand Herald reports.

He separated from estranged wife Melanie almost a decade ago after a 17 year marriage. However the couple have not yet reached a financial settlement.

She believes she is entitled to half her husband’s total assets, estimated at close to NZ $29 million (£12,594,040), while he insists that the assets held by trust are not matrimonial property and therefore not subject to division in the couple’s divorce.

The dispute has been escalated through the New Zealand judicial system, from the Family Court to the High Court and then the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers believe the Court’s ultimate decision could have a significant effect on trust law in the country.

Photo of the Supreme Court of New Zealand by Pear285 via Wikipedia

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