Securing a fair settlement after a long marriage

Sophie acted for a wife in her application for financial provision following a long marriage of twenty-five years. The parties had accumulated substantial equity in a mortgage-free family home and both had healthy pension provisions. The matter was complicated by sizeable inheritance that was received by the husband near the end of the parties’ marriage.

It was argued by the husband that he had “ring-fenced” the inheritance by placing the funds in an investment portfolio. The husband alleged that by virtue of wife having no access to the funds, their intention had always been for the inheritance to remain his sole property.

At the FDR hearing, through protracted negotiations, Sophie secured a favourable settlement for the wife with her receiving the majority of the net proceeds of the sale of the family home along with a lump sum to be paid by the husband. Such sums allowed the wife to secure alternative accommodation prior to the family home being sold.