The Husband v The Wife [2024] EWFC 64 (B)15 March 2024

Published: 03/05/2024 10:05

HHJ Willans. Needs case involving impressive parties with strong and opposing views over what has happened and what constitutes a fair outcome.

The parties had agreed: (i) a PSO in respect of H’s pension; (ii) that there should be a clean break, albeit H sought for that to be immediate and W argued that there should be ‘bridging’ maintenance at £750 pcm; W sought for any maintenance to end upon the sale of the FMH.

The central issue at the final hearing was the division of the proceeds of sale from the FMH. Each party argued that the proceeds should be shared c.60:40 in their favour.

To determine that issue, the court had to assess the parties’ (i) earning capacities; (ii) mortgage raising capacities; (iii) housing needs with a view to caring commitments for the children; and (iv) H’s health.

There was £486,000 equity in the FMH, a global mortgage capacity of £535,000 and the parties’ combined income was assessed to total c.£12,000 pcm.

There were three children. Since January 2023, only one was spending time with the F.

The parties’ housing needs were similar, but not the same. Both needed a three-bedroom property. The court determined £450,000 to be appropriate for the children’s primary carer.

The court ordered:

  • The sale of the FMH.
  • The first £48,000 generated was to discharge the parties’ respective liabilities
  • The residue was split 53.5:46.5 in favour of W.
  • Maintenance of £750 pcm to terminate upon the sale of the FMH.
  • Maintenance capitalised and paid as a lump sum so that any benefit payments W receives are not disturbed.
  • Clean break upon sale.
  • PSO as agreed by the parties.
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