Financial provision for a Wife caring for a child with Autism

Holly represented a Wife in financial provision proceedings brought by her former Husband. He sought an equal split of the parties’ assets and a clean break, to include a sale of the family home in which the Wife and child were residing. The child had been diagnosed as having autism and was awaiting assessment for ADHD.

The Wife fought strongly to be able to remain in the family home during the child’s minority on the basis that autism would make a transition to a new home difficult. She sought a 60/40 split of the assets on the basis of her enhanced role in caring for the child and consequent depressed earning capacity, and nominal periodical payments during the child’s minority.

Judgment was given after a full day of evidence, in which much was contested. Holly’s representation persuaded the judge that the child’s needs required remaining in the family home during minority. The Wife was awarded 60% of the capital assets, and pensions were equalised. The judge declined to order a clean break, instead putting in place a nominal periodical payments order during the child’s minority.