Jake Richards, 9 Gough ChambersThis article argues that the suspension on prison visits during this period and the deficiency of measures to mitigate the impact of this on family life and to protect...
The wife was worth around £58.8 million by the date of the trial but around £28.3 million at the date of separation by virtue of pre-marriage inheritances. Nonetheless she lived extremely modestly throughout the 21 years of marriage. The family spent around £79,000 a year and lived in a three bedroom semi-detached house now worth about £225,000. The wife and children were now living in a four bedroom house worth about £345,000 and the husband lived in the in matrimonial home. All four children attended state schools until the second child began to attend a local private high school, at a cost of £4,000 per term. The inheritance had remained the wife's discrete asset throughout, and never intermingled with other assets. The husband sought £18 million but the wife offered about £5 million plus the matrimonial home.
The wife's inheritance was plainly a good reason for departing from equality. The growth in the wife's assets was not a result of active management, but simply market growth. The judge also considered the couples' modest standard of living very relevant and, in that context, the wife's offer of £5 million plus the matrimonial home was very generous. As the offer provided more than husband's ‘needs' in the context of previous spending, £5.3 million in total for the husband was fair.
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