The High Court has recently ordered a husband to pay his ex-wife the sum of £453m as he failed to provide any valid reason to justify why the matrimonial assets should be divided other than equally.
The parties married in 1993 and the marriage broke down in 2013. However, the husband claimed that the marriage had broken down in 1999, or at the latest 2004 and any sharing claim should be based on wealth generated up to 2004 but not after.
Mr Justice Haddon-Cave accepted the wife’s evidence that the couple remained married until 2013 ‘in all senses of the word’. The husband had bought the wife jewellery worth $400,000 and gave her unrestricted use of his two credit cards, as well as allowing her to use his yacht, plane and helicopter.
The Judge also found that the husband hadn’t explained in his statements why he could be said to have made a ‘stellar contribution’ to the marriage to justify departing from the equality principle and the Judge therefore rejected the husband’s case.
This ruling reaffirms that the bar for pleading ‘special contribution’ and justifying that the assets should not be split equally, is set high and is very difficult to establish.
It is also interesting to note that the husband never appeared in person at any hearing during the matrimonial proceedings and attended by video-link from his yacht in the Caribbean.