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‘Excessive’ divorce settlement overturned by Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has overturned a divorce settlement that would have meant a husband had to transfer 30% of his assets to his wife following their divorce.

The judges held that the order was excessive because the marriage had not lasted very long and because the husband had acquired most of his assets after the couple had separated.

The couple had lived in the husband’s local authority flat during their marriage. He acquired the right to buy after his wife moved in. The marriage lasted four years and the couple had two children.

Following the break-up of the marriage, the husband remained in the marital home and the wife moved to another local authority flat. He exercised his right to buy and then sold the flat at a profit. He put the money towards another property which he bought with the help of a loan from his family.

The court that considered the wife’s application for ancillary relief ordered that the husband should pay her a lump sum of £75,000 and also make periodical payments.

However, the Court of Appeal has now overturned that order describing it as excessive given the short duration of the marriage. The order for periodical payments was struck out because the court held that a clean break was appropriate in this case. The lump sum payable to the wife was reduced to £40,000.

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