Women who are seeking a divorce from their husband should avoid new romances, says a High Court judge.
Mr Justice Mostyn said the start of a new relationship can be a ‘significant fly in the ointment’ to judges in the family court deciding how much money ex-wives should be awarded.
Women risk losing their share of their ex-husbands assets because judges might assume their financial future was assured through setting up home with their new partners, he said.
Mr Justice Mostyn made his comments in a written ruling on a family court case in Swansea.
The couple, both in their 40s, had lived together with an adopted child. The mother worked hard as a journalist, while the father had no income, but had inherited millions from his family.
Their marriage turned sour in September 2012, and the couple began lengthy legal wrangles over how to share their assets. As these disputes continued, the wife started a relationship with a former army officer.
She didn’t come clean about her romance, but investigations by her husband’s legal team revealed it to the court.
It seriously hurt her case, with Mr Justice Mostyn reasoning: ‘She says she is not going to live with him, although it is perfectly clear that the relationship is strong.
‘One cannot make assumptions, if it is not full-blown cohabitation akin to marriage, that it will grow into that, because if it does not, the wife may be left stranded between Scylla and Charybdis if the assumption is wrongly made.
‘On the other hand, if one makes a needs assessment on the basis that she is a single woman and she soon cohabits, then the paying party … can rightfully feel significantly aggrieved.’
Taking into account the relationship, Mr Justice Mostyn decided that around £250,000 would be enough to meet her needs – less than if she had remained single.
‘If the wife were assuredly single and I could foresee that continuing, I would have my doubts as to whether a net capital position … of just over £250,000 would be enough,’ he said.
‘On the other hand, I cannot ignore the existence of the relationship … and so I reach the conclusion that the net figure that I leave the wife with of just over £250,000 is sufficient to meet her needs.’
Article Source: Mail Online 23rd September

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