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Assets divided equally between homemaker wife and primary earner husband in divorce proceedings

By: Heather Furlong BL

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High Court grants orders to achieve the ultimate effect of equal division of assets between a husband and wife in divorce proceedings, where the husband was the primary earner and his wife was a homemaker, allowing him to pursue a successful career.

High Court – Judicial Separation and Family Law Reform Act 1995 – Family Law Act 1995 – divorce – no dependent children – husband was the primary earner – wife primarily worked as a homemaker – married for several decades – wife’s prospects of returning to work have been negatively impinged by commitment to being a homemaker – note the wife’s efforts in resolving various issues and disputes that arose concerning investment properties and the boundary dispute concerning the family home – proper provision – aim of the judgment is to secure an equal division of assets – income – husband has good earning potential – tax liability – both parties entitled to a contributory state pension – proposed reduction in maintenance would be an unjustifiable reduction in the wife’s income and impede her ability to repay debts – would result in the husband paying less than one-quarter of his monthly income despite the fact that her efforts assisted his career – no difficulty in making the payments – order the lump sum maintenance payment in four annual tranches – property valuation – accept lower valuation received – division of monies in accounts to be distributed on an equal basis – no evidence of disposition of shares – for the parties to determine how to assist non-dependent child in post graduate career – litigation proceeds – award of damages to be split equally – some money to be set aside for ongoing proceedings - family home to be transferred to the wife and two other properties – husband to receive one of the properties in Ireland – wife to receive the benefit of the smaller Ireland pension fund – husband will receive larger Isle of Man pension fund – require the husband to make an equalising payment for equal division of the total present pension fund – death in service benefit fund is outside the jurisdiction of the court – any order would be futile – gift to one of the daughter’s can be rectified in the will – Article 41.3.2 of the Constitution – Irish law does not establish a right to a ‘clean break’ – certainty and finality – broad discretion – ample resources case – husband to retain his share portfolios – orders to be agreed in the terms set out in the judgment.

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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