For most individuals going through divorce, the desire to attain a clean financial break is paramount. This allows them to regain their independence and move forward with their lives unburdened. A recent ruling in the High Court vividly illustrates the wisdom of such a choice.
The case revolved around a divorced couple in their sixties, who had been separated for nearly a decade. Assets valued at approximately £1.8 million had been divided by a judge, but a true clean break was never achieved. The husband was obligated to pay his ex-wife an indefinite annual spousal maintenance of £17,500.
Significant changes had occurred in their circumstances since the divorce. The husband had retired from his lucrative finance job and contended that it was time to halt the maintenance payments. Conversely, the wife argued that the payments should either be increased or transformed into a lump sum to bolster her income, as she was struggling to make ends meet.
In delivering its judgment, the Court acknowledged that when considering the husband’s pension, he had walked away from the divorce with over 60 per cent of the marital assets. Notably, he had voluntarily increased the maintenance payments in line with inflation, and he had fully covered their three children’s school fees, although the judge’s order only required him to pay half.
The wife, younger than her ex-husband, had chosen to engage in limited paid work post-divorce, still possessing some earning potential. Her existing resources provided an annual income of approximately £25,000, which was less than half of her ex-husband’s pension income.
The Court ruled that the wife required an annual income of £50,000 to meet her reasonable needs. To achieve this, the husband was mandated to pay a lump sum of £314,500. This payment would signify the attainment of a true clean break, as his obligation to pay spousal maintenance would cease. The Court deemed this resolution as entirely equitable and practical.
It was disheartening, the Court noted, that two sensible and amicable individuals found themselves unable to negotiate their differences, resorting instead to incurring legal costs exceeding £227,000 in their legal battle. The Court expressed hope that the imposition of a clean break would put an end to their disputes.
How Seatons Can Assist You in Achieving a Clean Break
In divorce cases like the one described, Seatons offers invaluable support and legal expertise. Our team of skilled solicitors specialises in family law matters, including divorce, and can provide personalised guidance tailored to your unique circumstances.
Seatons can help you navigate the complexities of divorce, offering expert advice and support at every stage of the process. Whether you seek a clean break or have specific financial concerns, our experienced team can help you make informed decisions that align with your best interests.
For more information on how Seatons can assist you with your divorce, download our free guide to relationship breakdowns and divorce or telephone us on 01536 311690 or 01536 276300 or get in touch online today.
Don’t let divorce disputes linger; secure your clean break with Seatons’ expert assistance.