Court awards wife £350,000 plus half husband’s pension
Published: 21 September 2017
A husband has lost his appeal against a court order awarding his wife a large lump sum and half his pension.
The case involved a couple who divorced after several years
of marriage. There were no dependent children.
The husband was ordered to pay the wife a lump sum of
£350,000. The judge found that the wife was also entitled to an equal share of
the husband's pension, but he adjourned that aspect of the wife's application
on the basis that a pension sharing order could be used as a means of
enforcement if the husband did not comply with the lump sum order.
As feared, the husband didn’t pay so in July 2015 the judge
decided to enforce £200,000 of the lump sum order by means of the pension
He therefore added £200,000 to the wife's half-share of the
husband's pension and determined that the total sum amounted to 76% of the
He ordered the remaining £150,000 of the lump sum to be paid
from the sale of one of the husband’s properties, and accrued interest of some
£26,000 on the unpaid lump sum to be paid from the sale of another property.
The husband complained that the judge had been wrong to
exercise his discretion to use the pension fund as a means of enforcement, and
that increasing the pension sharing order to reflect non-compliance was not
However, the Court of Appeal upheld the decision. The
judge’s reasoning was clear and he was merely putting into effect the order
which he had made in the first place.
His use of a percentage rather than a fixed amount had not
conferred additional benefit on the wife because the husband had so far paid
nothing, and only had himself to blame for failing to take steps to comply with
the lump sum order when it was made.
Please contact Claire Rutter in our Family Team if you would
like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of