Family negations exercise part 2

Tyrrell v Tyrrell 1989

the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 that the valuation of matrimonial property was at the date of separation; there was no question of there being any contribution by the pursuer to the value of the pension after the date of separation and it should therefore be valued as at that date and (3) there was no likelihood of serious financial hardship to the pursuer but for the purposes of s.9(1)(d) of the 1985 Act she was dependent to a material degree on the financial support of the defender and it was appropriate that periodical allowance should be continued at the rate at which aliment had latterly been paid but for a period of one year only, it having been seven years since separation, allowing the pursuer ample time to adjust; and decree for payment of capital sum and periodical allowance pronounced accordingly.

Coyle v Coyle 2003

W raised an action of divorce against H on the ground of five years' separation. She sought payment of a capital sum, periodical allowance and property transfer orders in respect of the matrimonial home and a holiday home. The parties had married in 1975 and W had given up a promising career with an airline company to look after the home and raise the children. H worked in a family business, eventually becoming a director, and owned a majority shareholding in the company by the time the parties separated in 1995. W claimed that the net increase in the value of H's business interests from the date of marriage to the date of separation was GBP 399,000 and argued that she should be entitled to half that increase in addition to half the net value of the matrimonial property on the basis that the increase in value had only been possible as a result of her contribution to the marriage. She also claimed a further GBP 480,000 on the basis that she had suffered economic disadvantage as a result of not pursuing her career. She sought to justify that sum by calculating the amount of compensation due, by reference to the Ogden Tables, had she been claiming for future loss of earnings and pension rights in an action for damages for personal injuries.

Held, granting the decree of divorce, that H had deliberately misled the court in relation to his financial resources and his failures to disclose or vouch for assets or liabilities could not be justified. Under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985 s.8(2) the court could take into account any potential liability to capital gains tax where realisation of an asset was likely to meet an award for financial provision, but could disregard such liability where actual realisation of the asset was unlikely. The net value of the matrimonial property was established at between GBP 1,157,913 and GBP 1,182,913 with only GBP 21,053 belonging to W. The increase in value of H's interest in his company could not properly be described as the obtaining of an economic advantage arising from W's contribution. Further, W was not entitled to apply the principle of economic disadvantage principle as though it were an action for damages for personal injuries. The question of whether any economic disadvantage to W consequent upon her giving up her career on marriage was one for the court. A fair sharing of the net value of the matrimonial property would give W GBP 565,000, which was achieved by the transfer of the former matrimonial home with the balance of GBP 295,000 awarded in cash. There was no justification for transferring the holiday home. The imbalance arising from the economic disadvantage suffered by W had been reflected by the financial provision awarded and no further award in terms of s.9(1)(b) was appropriate in view of the fact that W had benefited from the increase in value of the matrimonial home since the date of separation.