Defending disproportionate claims by a wife

Edward acted for a Husband in matrimonial finance proceedings following a long marriage. The parties’ child was now in adulthood.

Before Edward became involved, the Wife had defended the divorce and then made an application for maintenance pending suit, which had resulted in the Court making an order for interim periodical payments and a costs order against the Husband.

The Wife alleged financial mismanagement by the Husband, as well as non-disclosure and the concealment of assets. She sought periodical payments on a joint lives basis and more than fifty per-cent of the Husband’s civil service pension.

On behalf of the Husband, Edward argued that the Wife’s approach was disproportionate and that her allegations did not withstand scrutiny, whilst her maintenance arguments did not stand up to the analysis of Mostyn J in SS v NS [2014] EWHC 4183.

At FDR, Edward successfully negotiated a settlement in which the Husband would pay the Wife a series of three-figure lump sums and a further modest, four-figure balancing sum in a four-month period. The existing order for periodical payments was discharged and a clean break ordered. It was also agreed that the civil service pension would be shared equally, rather than the Wife receiving the larger share she had demanded.