Ongoing financial support in a case concerning a complex tax structure

Holly represented a Wife in variation proceedings brought by her former husband. He sought to vary a spousal periodical payments order made a few years previously, relying upon the wife’s move across the country as well as a large tax liability which he faced to argue that Holly’s client should no longer receive periodical payments.

Through her advocacy Holly was able to narrow down the issues to remove the wife’s relocation as a reason for a reduction in payments. The issue remained the husband’s tax liability, arising out of a complex tax structure that he had used for a number of years and which had subsequently been closed down by HM Revenue and Customs. He therefore faced a large tax liability and a short-term reduction in his income.

The case was further complicated by the very limited and last-minute disclosure provided by the husband. Holly was able to draft a lengthy questionnaire which elicited further information on the tax structure, an Employee Benefit Trust.

At the FDR hearing negotiations took place for most of the day and Holly secured for the wife an ongoing, reduced monthly payment as well as a lump sum payment from the husband’s assets.