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Divorcee receives £3.5 million despite living with another man

A divorcee who has set up home with a new partner is still entitled to a share of her ex-husband’s wealth, the High Court has ruled.

The 60 year-old was awarded £3.5 million out of total assets of approximately £10 million, after a marriage lasting more than 20 years. Her 77 year-old  ex-husband made the family fortune investing in property.

Unhappy with the settlement, he took the case to the Court of Appeal, arguing that it was excessive because his ex had moved in with a new partner.

But his argument has now been rejected by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division.

The couple had married in 1987 after living together for four years.  They had two children and enjoyed a prosperous lifestyle, buying up properties in Miami and Spain. Divorce proceedings began in 2011.

During the proceedings, the husband argued that her share of the family assets should be cut because she and her partner had been living together for years and she should therefore financially rely on him. But Judge Stephen Wildblood was unpersuaded, concluding:

“I do not consider that the presence of Mr Chubb in the life of Mrs Hart should diminish her needs.”

At the Court of Appeal, the developer represented himself. The award allocated to his wife was “unfair” he insisted.

“The situation in my case is that my wife had been living as man and wife with somebody for years. It could be 10 years. They have a bank account together, a home together and credit cards together. You can hardly agree with Judge Wildblood when he said they lead separate lives. They are obviously living together as man and wife.”

Case law generally takes account of the possibility of a spouse remarrying when determining a settlement, he argued,.

Counsel for his ex-wife, meanwhile, said the couple had no plans to marry. Despite her new partner, she enjoyed her independence and did not want to rely on a man for money.

Sir James said the case was a difficult one.

“If one gets it wrong one way, the wife is left stranded. If one gets it wrong the other way, the husband is aggrieved.”

But, he concluded that Judge Wildblood had made findings “which in my judgment the judge was fully entitled to make in the light of the evidence he had heard.”

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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  1. Andy says:

    So.As per usual the female who is cohabiting with new partner still gets a large share.
    So in this case financial gain by the female via court judgement and conclusion.

    Now would happen if the male moved a partner in and the same was to happen with joint this case the court would include the new partner of the ex husband and still loose, award would still go to the financial gain by the female..
    In essence still the same old story..large costs to the female and aggrieved male for the court award.

    So yet again same old story if your male you loose…
    When will this law be brought into this century..not when sickens was alive…
    Time the courts woke up for equality not inequality
    Sadly this will never happen.

  2. Stitchedup says:

    Awwwwwwww……… This should be fun!!!! Not another wind-up I hope.

  3. spinner says:

    “did not want to rely on a man for money.” – lol apart from the first man that is.

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