As you may have seen, a British wife was recently awarded what was thought to be the largest sum of marital assets following her divorce from a former London oil and gas trader. The award of 41.5% of the couple’s total marital wealth was ordered by the high court and is said to have amounted to an astonishing £453m.

Due to the sum of money being divided and unsuccessful negotiations out of court, the divorce settlement eventually came from a High Court judge. Although the case was settled in private, it has been revealed that the Husband originally contested his wife’s claims for half of the marital assets under the argument that he made a “special contribution” to the marital assets during their long marriage; they married in 1993 and have two children together. However, this claim was dropped just two weeks before the trial with the presiding judge stating that the reasons for doing so were “unclear.”

So the argument about ‘special contribution’ rumbles on and has not been resolved with this case. There are a number of high profile cases that have come before the courts where one spouse has argued ‘special contributions’ in an effort to limit the other party’s claim on the family wealth – the footballer Mr Ryan Giggs is the latest to plead that argument, his case has yet to be determined by the court. Although the courts have set out guidelines in some cases there are no criteria by which a court will determine each case. It is decided upon a case by case basis. The next few months could be very interesting.

The family lawyers at Farleys always keep their ears to the ground about new rulings in family law cases to determine how they will affect our clients so we can give the most accurate advice. To speak to a divorce lawyer about your case please call 0845 287 0939 or send your enquiry through our online form.