A woman who married her wealthy husband in the 1970s and divorced him in the 1990s was yesterday awarded £6 million, nearly half of his £13.6 million fortune.
In the Family Division of the High Court, Mr Justice Bodey said that the couple had treated the divorce as ‘just a piece of paper' and carried on living together as if there was ‘no distinction' between their life before and after the divorce. The judge permitted the case to be reported on the condition that the couple from London remained anonymous.
The husband, who is in his 70's, started a relationship with another woman five years ago and she and her 12-year-old daughter moved into the former marital home. However, he asked that his ex-wife stay in the home ‘as some sort of housekeeper' which the former wife, in her 50's, found ‘very demeaning and upsetting.' The husband also threatened to commit suicide or go on hunger strike if the former wife took him to court over financial matters.
The husband had argued that the couple had previously agreed that the wife would only be entitled to £3.4 million. However, the wife said that she had signed that agreement under duress and the judge ruled in her favour.