Ex-wife awarded 90% of assets in divorce

Peter Morris, the successful managing director of a software company, is reportedly appealing a divorce ruling in which his ex-wife, Jane Morris, was awarded 90% of the family assets. Ms Morris quit her career as a recruitment consultant to become a “stay at home mum” and bringing up their three children for 20 years, before the marriage broke down in 2013. Divorce judge Glen Brasse said that she “stayed at home to look after the home and care for the children by agreement with her husband” and had previously been a “competent and effective operator” in her former career.

“Substantially larger earning capacity”

In deciding to award the bulk of their assets to Ms Morris, the High Court judge noted “the husband’s very substantially larger earning capacity into the future” and his larger pension, concluding that the needs of mother and children should come first: “It is self-evident that not all the needs of the parties could possibly be met in full, or even substantially, from the available resources so the parties expectations have to be scaled down. Some of their needs will have to be prioritised over others. The priority must be given in my judgement to the housing of the wife and children”

Non-payment of maintenance

The Court of Appeal heard that, although the family had built up millions of pounds of assets during their marriage, this had been reduced to £560,000 as a result of the couple’s “extravagant” spending and, after the award, Mr Morris was left with only £66,000. He was further hit with a £77,000 demand for unpaid maintenance and other debts which effectively wiped out his share of family assets and led to him facing a six-week suspended prison sentence for non-payment of maintenance. The ex-husband appeared to represent himself in court to challenge the financial outcome of the divorce as well as his prison sentence but the hearing was adjourned to allow him to obtain a legal aid barrister by Lady Justice Black, who warned that his “liberty is at stake”.

Help and advice from an expert divorce solicitor

The repercussions of divorce or other types of relationship breakdown can be very significant and it’s important to have a professional divorce lawyer on your side to provide a helping hand. Here at W H Matthews & Co, we  understand that this is a stressful time and our friendly family law solicitors can guide you through the legal and practical issues. Give us a call today to discuss your divorce or family law matter in confidence.