Call us: Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm, Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm
Call local rate 0330 056 3171
Mon - Fri 8:30am - 7pm | Sat - Sun 9am - 5pm

Wife awarded most of family’s wealth

A businessman’s appeal against an order giving almost all his wealth to his ex-wife has been adjourned.

According to media reports, she had given up her career to raise the couple’s children while her husband enjoyed a successful career as managing director of a software firm. They were together for 25 years before their marriage broke down in 2013. The couple reportedly enjoyed a lavish lifestyle. They took luxury holidays while their children attended a high end public school and they lived in a expensive property in the Chiltern Hills.

Judge Glen Brasse said the husband had taken no less than six holidays in the space of nine months following the separation, despite the fact that “huge and pressing debts” were accumulating. Meanwhile, the wife spent £5,000 on a birthday party.

But the Judge believed the wife’s spending had been motived by a need for “emotional and psychological comfort”. Now in her mid-50s, and decades out of the workforce, she had minimal earning capacity he said.

The wife and children had relied on the husband “for his expertise in producing a good standard of living for them.” But carefree spending had meant the couple were now left without enough money to meet both parties’ needs, the Judge declared.

“It is self-evident that not all the needs of the parties could possibly be met in full, or even substantially, from the available resources so the parties’ expectations have to be scaled down. Some of their needs will have to be prioritised over others. The priority must be given in my judgement to the housing of the wife and children.”

He awarded almost all the couple’s remaining wealth to the wife, including a lump sum to cover unpaid maintenance and other debts.

The case reached the Court of Appeal this week. But when the husband announced that he planned to proceed without a lawyer, Lady Justice Black ruled that the issues at stake was sufficiently serious for him to receive legal aid. The case will return to the Court of Appeal at a later date.

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.

Contact us

As the UK's largest family law firm we understand that every case is personal.


  1. Andy says:

    Yet again the Law is totally on the mother’s side despite total disregard for the money by both parties…
    It is clear that children’s needs are priority but housing needs can be sorted…
    Whether you agree or disagree it only a view point,but what about the the jo average family,this seems to be the same thing…courts seem to favour the mother. Yet they shout equal equality and salaries yet what about equal equalityin courts…not a chance… funny that….high time this was addressed…One voice will not be herd yet many voices get noticed…

  2. Luke says:

    So they were both profligate but she gets the lot and he has to pay spousal maintenance on top of that – this is the reality of marriage – stay frost guys, stay frosty…

  3. D says:

    One wonders whether custody of the children with the father was seriously considered? And how informed the decision for the mother to stop working was?
    Addressing the other comments; society likes it’s labels and statistics. The only way these issues would be fairly dealt with is human vs human. Of course there’s a love of statistics; so is guilt implied for an individual by ‘70% of men/women do this.. 30% don’t’? Or you’re a victim … but you’re label means you’re are 2% of cases.. therefore we don’t care. Flinging the balances right over the other way doesn’t really solve the problem. For example it’s quietly being ignored that attainments in education are now gender asymmetric and this will begin to become apparent in the next few decades. Society will be able to punish these individuals for the current pay inequalities.
    The latest domestic abuse policy initiatives are not gender neutral. I don’t see how society will ever reach a sensible way to address equality; but with reliable methods of fertilisation being available in the near future why not just prevent the occurrence of the XY chromosome pairing? … it seems to be a solution to many problems.

Leave a comment

Help & advice categories


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up for advice on divorce and relationships from our lawyers, divorce coaches and relationship experts.

What type of information are you looking for?

Privacy Policy