Protecting a wife’s interest following a long separation

Edward acted for a wife in her ex-husband’s application for financial remedies following their divorce. It had been a long marriage, but the parties had been separated for many years and any children were now adults. At the time of separation, they had been legally represented and an agreement drawn up, but this order had never been perfected by the Court.

It was now the husband’s case that the family marital home should be sold and the proceeds of sale divided equally, in line with the original agreement.

The wife argued that the Court was not bound by the agreement, and that intervening events and her needs justified a greater departure from equality. The case was further complicated by a significant debt in relation to the property, giving rise to possible third-party intervention.

Edward successfully argued his client’s case and the parties settled on the basis that the husband transferred the property on receipt of a lump sum equal to significantly less than 20% of the net equity, and there otherwise be a clean break.