Wife can't have second chance over divorce settlement

A husband has won his appeal against a judge’s decision that allowed his wife a second chance to improve her divorce settlement.

The case involved a couple who had been married for several years and had one son.

At the final hearing of the wife's application for a financial settlement, the husband proposed that she should receive assets totalling £444,000. The wife said she needed £525,000 to re-house herself and her child. She asked for £603,000.

Each party produced evidence from estate agents detailing properties they considered suitable for the wife. The top price of the houses suggested by the husband was £369,950; the bottom price of those suggested by the wife was £585,000.

The judge found that the wife's housing needs could reasonably be met by £410,000 and awarded her a total of £478,000.

The wife asked the judge to adjourn to allow the parties to produce details of properties with asking prices of around £410,00 and £525,000 so that the judge could determine which were suitable.

The judge acceded to that application, holding that even though she was giving the wife a second chance to produce evidence that she should have produced at the final hearing, that course was necessary to do justice to the case.

The High Court overturned that decision.

It held that the judge's decision was not based on the correct legal principles and was plainly wrong.

There was no good reason to depart from the terms of the original judgment. What happened was an example of counsel seeking spuriously to get the judge to change her mind and she should not have succumbed

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.

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