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Engins Marbles – 50% Each

There have been a number of media reports recently regarding the decision in a Family Law Property Settlement case known as Elgin –v- Elgin. The case seems to have attracted some media publicity because after separation from his wife, the husband had remarried to a much younger woman and had another child. In this case […]

Engins Marbles – 50% Each

Engins Marbles – 50% Each

By Aylward Game - Feb 6, 2014 Family Law

There have been a number of media reports recently regarding the decision in a Family Law Property Settlement case known as Elgin –v- Elgin. The case seems to have attracted some media publicity because after separation from his wife, the husband had remarried to a much younger woman and had another child.

In this case the couple had a substantial amount of wealth with the total property pool being assessed by the court at $42 million and the decision of the court was that that the total property pool should be divided equally between the husband and the wife. In reaching this decision the court rejected the husbands contention that his contributions to the accumulation of the wealth had been greater. The husband argued that he had been made contributions over the entire course of the relationship whilst he suggested that the contribution from the wife had been less in later years once the couples children had reached adulthood and were no longer dependent. The husbands case was that therefore the wife’s role as the mother to the family was less onerous in later years.

On that basis the husband had argued that he should receive 70% of the pool of the assets and the wife should receive 30%. The wife had argued that she should receive just slightly more than 50% due to her having received an inheritance of just over $1 million.  A somewhat unusual feature of the case was that neither husband or wife attempted to argue that there were any “future factors” that needed to be considered by the court such as age, health or incapacity and responsibility for children. These factors are usually a feature of what the court is asked to decide but in this case both parties agreed that the matter should only be determined by reference to an assessment of the contributions each had made. After several years of
litigation, the answer from the Court was that it should be an equal division.

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