The courts have recently been asked to rule in a case in which the ex-wife of a wealthy businessman sought an increase in the financial provision she received from her ex-husband following their divorce.
She had received a lump sum divorce settlement of almost £1 million as well as periodical payments for three years. She later rearranged her affairs, taking out a mortgage on her property for £100,000 and using the money to buy an investment bond, interest on which was rolled up over the term rather than paid as it arose.
She subsequently applied to the court to be awarded a capital sum instead of the periodical payments she was due to receive. In her submissions, she claimed that her expenses included the cost of repaying the mortgage, but she did not include any income from the bond.
The district judge awarded her a further £456,000. Her ex-husband challenged the decision. Among other objections to the judge’s calculations, he argued that re-mortgaging the house and using the £100,000 to buy the bond was solely his ex-wife’s decision and the judge’s calculations, which included £500 per month to cover payment of the mortgage, were therefore in error.
The Court of Appeal agreed.