A multi-million pound 70-year-old business man has been ordered by the court to pay his ex-wife £6.12 million of a £13.6 million fortune after asking her to remain in his house as a housekeeper.
The couple, who married in the seventies and divorced in the nineties, continued to live together after the divorce. However, after the man met a new woman and moved her into their home things turned sour.
Mr Justice Bodey, sitting at the Family Division of the High Court said ‘The husband told (his partner) he was not intending her to vacate and would she remain as some sort of housekeeper?’
He said she found the suggestion ‘very demeaning and upsetting’ and consulted solicitors.
Once litigation had started the man argued that his ex-wife had signed a written agreement to receive no more than £3.4 million. However, the judge found in favour of the wife who said that the agreement was made under duress.
The judge analysed the arguments made by both sides and came to the conclusion that there was ‘no distinction’ between the time the couple spent as married people and the period of time after divorce when they were living together. The judge concluded that the couple had treated the divorce as ‘just a piece of paper’.