22 June 2017, by Taylor King Family Law Solicitors
In dividing the assets on divorce, those acquired during the marriage are shared equally unless there is a good reason for departure. This is called the sharing principle.
In the case of Gray v Work, Mr Work the husband, sought a larger share of the assets on the basis of the amount of wealth he had generated during the marriage. he asked the court that this wealth should be generated as a “special contribution”. The husband sought 61% of the assets on the basis that he had generated 225 million dollars.
The court of appeal confirmed the following, if there was to be a departure from equality;
- The contribution had to be wholly exceptional, so that it would be inconsistent with the objective of achieving fairness.
- Exceptional earning were a relevant factor
- The disparity in contributions was relevant to the welfare of the family.
- There is no discrimination against the homemaker.
- The special contribution must be unmatched by the other party.
- The amount of wealth may be so extraordinary as to be exceptional.
- There is no threshold.
The husband’s appeal against an equal share of the assets was dismissed. This case shows how difficult it is to argue a departure from equality in relation to assets acquired during the marriage.
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