Divorce – Wife loses appeal over clean break divorce settlement

A wife who wanted to receive periodic payments from her husband as part of a divorce settlement has lost her appeal against a court’s decision that there should be a clean break instead.

The case involved a couple who had lived together for several years but then separated only eight months after marrying. They had two children.

The husband was a self-employed plumber. The wife had worked for a bank before being made redundant. She then worked as a contractor in the insurance industry but had been unemployed for six of the twelve months before the divorce hearing. Both had substantial debts.

Between them they owned four flats which were let to tenants.

The wife applied for a periodical payments order until their children were aged 18.

However, the judge made an order for a clean break after finding that the wife had a greater earning capacity than the husband.

The husband was ordered to make a lump sum payment to the wife, and they both undertook to transfer their shares in the flats so that their ownership was separated.

The wife appealed saying the judge had failed to take into account the fact that she might have periods without work.

However, the Court of Appeal ruled against her saying it was impossible to conclude that the judge’s decision was wrong in principle.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of matrimonial and family law.

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