Should the husband get a much larger share of the marital assets than the wife after their divorce? Which case won?
Couple were married for ten years and had two children
The husband was aged 39, the wife was aged 37 and they had been married for about ten years at the time of separating. They had two children.
When they started living together, the husband had assets of a total value of $226,000, while the wife had assets of a total value of $11,500.
The husband was employed at all times and the wife was employed until shortly before the first child was born, then employed part time after the first child turned five.
Husband buys family home using compensation pay out
The husband purchased a family home. He paid for it with money from a compensation pay out (about $200,000), loans from his relatives totalling $16,000, a bank loan of $20,000 and his savings. The wife contributed $10,000 from her savings during the marriage, about $5,000 of which she had when they began living together.
While they were married, the husband used his wages to support the family, meet household bills and contribute to savings. The wife took care of the children most of the time and was the homemaker.
After separation, the husband cared for the children most of the time as a result of parenting orders made by the Family Court. According to these arrangements, the children mainly lived with the husband, but lived with the wife each alternate weekend, one overnight during the week and one half of school holiday periods.
The husband did not receive any child support payments from the wife following their separation.
Trial judge gives 55 per cent of the marital assets to husband
After the couple separated, a property settlement was made which gave 45 per cent of the assets to the wife and 55 per cent of the assets to the husband.
The husband appealed against the property settlement orders of the court and asked that 30 per cent of the assets be given to the wife and 70 per cent of the assets be given to himself.
It was up to the court to decide first, whether to allow the appeal and secondly, whether the husband’s share of the assets should be increased.