Complex family finances and allegations of sexual abuse

Christopher acted for Wife in a family finance case with several unusual features.

The Wife alleged a history of sexual abuse at the hands of her husband, which he denied, and was unable to work due to PTSD. The Husband alleged that the wife’s allegations were themselves relevant conduct.

Early in the marriage, the Wife had inherited a third share in a property of which her sister and stepfather also each owned a third. The elderly stepfather had an interest to occupy the property for life.

The other main matrimonial assets were the family home and pensions of which the larger share were in the Husband’s name. He argued that the remainder were extra marital.

At the First Directions Appointment it was successfully argued that a pension report was necessary to inform as how to share the pensions resulting in equality of income.

At the Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment the Husband argued that only the pensions accrued during the marriage were relevant and that the Wife’s inherited property should be considered a matrimonial asset.

The Wife argued that all pensions should be considered so that there was equality of pension income and that her inherited property should be retained by her.

With Christopher’s representation, the matter was settled at the Financial Dispute Resolution Appointment with the equity in the matrimonial home being shared equally, and a pension sharing order the effect of which was to equalise pension income. Furthermore the Wife retained her inherited property.