The value of a family business or business interest is treated as an asset and therefore part of the matrimonial pot to be distributed when it comes to negotiating a financial settlement on divorce or...
FINANCIAL REMEDIES: Hutchings-Whelan v Hutchings  EWCA Civ 38
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Mar 22, 2012, 08:15 AM
Article ID :98107
(Court of Appeal; Maurice Kay, McFarlane and Hughes LJJ; 26 January 2012)
The husband failed to make full disclosure in financial proceedings. A property had been purchased in the name of one of the adult sons and sold for £1.3m, but the judge found in reality it belonged to the husband. Proceedings were reopened and the wife was awarded a further lump sum of £384,000 in addition to the £176,000 she was originally awarded. The husband appealed on the basis that the judge had erred in failing to take into account interest paid on loans in respect of the property, costs of refurbishing two other properties and in overvaluing a bracelet the husband owned.
Appeal dismissed. The judge had not been plainly wrong, he had found a very substantial element of non-disclosure with respect to a property which had netted over £1m, he had then had to move through a sea of evidence within which there was little or no solid ground and yet fix upon one finite lump sum figure. The difficulties faced by the judge originated from the husband's own conduct, and it was impossible for him to now complain that the judge had exceeded the generous ambit of discretion open to him.