Rebecca acts for the wife (W) of a city trader, residing in Essex , in divorce proceedings.
W is aged 37. H is aged 38, There are two children aged 5 and 2. The marriage was of 7 years duration but there was a period of pre-marriage cohabitation.
H is a city banker and his average monthly earnings are £13,500. H offered to pay Rebecca’s client just £2,000 per month in maintenance for three years at which point the monthly sum would drop to £1,000 for a further 2 years and then just child maintenance. H’s solicitors also proposed that W would a receive percentage of H’s bonuses until 2019 and he would pay £1,200 per month for the children until they are 18.
Rebecca Gardiner advised that this offer was not acceptable to W because she is the primary carer to the children, is unable to return to full-time work and the parties enjoyed a high standard of living prior to the relationship breakdown.
H’s solicitors proposed from the sale of the former matrimonial home that W would receive £690,000 to rehouse herself on a capital clean break basis. This amounted to 49% of the total liquid assets.
The H’s solicitors asserted that this should be treated as a short marriage and consequently W should not receive spousal maintenance for very long. With the cohabitation period in mind, Rebecca Gardiner argued that this should be considered a long marriage of 11 rather than 7 years and that there should be at least an equal division of capital as well as a generous maintenance provision to W in light of the constraints to her earning capacity and the children’s welfare needs.
With Rebecca’s negotiation skills the parties reached an agreement whereby W received 53% of the liquid assets, 50% of H’s pension plus retention of her own modest pension fund.
Rebecca also secured maintenance of £36,000 per annum for W until the youngest child turned 18; plus child maintenance at £9,000 per annum per child plus that H paid the children’s school fees for their primary education.
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