15 June 2017
May 2017 - Private Law
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Parties married in 1993. The husband had children from a previous relationship whom were cared for by the wife along with their own 2 children.
The husband worked and sold his business in 2012 for 1.375 billion dollars.
Parties disputed the end date of their relationship- the husband claiming 1999 or 2004 at latest and the wife claiming 2014.
The husband argued special contribution based on his wealth before the marriage and then his resources being accumulated after the marriage. The husband did not present any schedule or breakdown of the assets before the marriage to assist in his argument.
The judge heard extensive evidence and found that the parties did in fact separate in late 2014.
He rejected the husband’s special contribution argument. He stated that apart from explaining the difficulties in undertaking business in Russia there were no suggestions which meant this amounted to special contribution. The trial judge was not wrong in this approach.
In any event there was clear evidence as to the value of the assets and this was largely cash. The wife was awarded over £453m.
The husband had wealth in the region of £37 million.
Conduct of the husband was an issue as it was alleged he had caused her psychological harm as a result of the short marriage and its breakdown. This impacted on her earning capacity.
This was the husband’s appeal after he was ordered to pay his wife £4.25 million at first instance with a clean break.
He appealed based on the fact he said the judge had gone beyond the needs of the wife in making such an order.
This was dismissed by Mr Justice Mostyn, stating the assessment of the wife’s needs was well within the discretion of the court. He stated;
“The main drivers in the discretionary exercise are the scale of the payer's wealth, the length of the marriage, the applicant's age and health, and the standard of living, although the latter factor cannot be allowed to dominate the exercise.”
Mother launched application under schedule 1 for further capital lump sum of £20,600 to assist in her care of the child as well as a periodical payments order.
Mostyn J stated that the capital claim was for ‘singular items’ of capital nature and stated that they were justified and awarded the mother the full £20,600.
Mostyn J also commented that the father had paid very little by way of child support despite the father’s capital wealth being assessed at £5.2million.
Mostyn J in making such a decision, and of his own initiative, looked at the CSA tribunal’s information in regards to the arrears which had been occurred in the payments and their information as to the father’s resources.
He found that the father did have sufficient capital resources to pay the money, rejecting the father’s argument that these had been exhausted. Mostyn J stated that the mother’s claim was proportionate and reasonable and the father had tried to minimise his assets so he also made a charging order under s3 (1) of the Charging Orders Act 1979.