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54 million GBP award to wife, the largest yet in a contested marriage split in England

By Principal Lawyer, Family Law

It is reported in tonight’s London Evening Standard (9th August 2013) that a divorced wife was today awarded £54m by a judge, which would make it the biggest pay out in a contested marriage split in the UK. The award comes in £6m higher than the previous record to Beverley Charman by her ex husband, insurance magnate John Charman, reports the ES.

There have been bigger awards in America, but this most recent award does go someway to support London’s alleged reputation as the “divorce capital of the world” due to the seemingly high concentration of big money settlements more often than not to the ex wife. So why is England so popular with divorcing couples? There’s no doubt that the divorce laws in England and Wales give judges a great deal of discretion when deciding how to divide the marital pot, but it does appear that London is more generous to wives when awarding spousal maintenance than perhaps provincial courts are.

In any event, when considering what is fair and reasonable in a divorce settlement, £54m will need to be looked at against the overall wealth of the couple before they separated. Time will tell what details of this case will emerge, but we’ll keep you posted with the facts and legal analysis as the story unfolds.

Family law

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