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Family Law in Canberra – Large settlement as court recognizes wife’s role

By December 4, 2014No Comments

A husband’s appeal of his ex-wife’s property settlement has been dismissed, with the appeals court upholding the decision to award the wife more than half of the $2.2 million property settlement, based on the fact that the husband “made minimal contributions as a homemaker and parent”.

During the Queensland couple’s twenty year marriage, the husband had worked seven days a week and his financial contributions outweighed the wife’s.  However, she had chiefly cared for their son with Asperger’s syndrome, and her role was ‘exacerbated’ by the husband’s long hours at the pub.

The Family Court judge accepted the wife’s evidence that her husband would be at the pub from 12pm to 3.30pm and 4pm to 7.30pm on weekdays, and also for long periods at weekends.

She said his lifestyle centred around the pub and consuming alcohol, and she had a publican give evidence about his drinking habits.

The husband had claimed the pub visits were networking and socialising as ‘part and parcel of maintaining a profile in a small community’. He argued  it was unfair for the trial judge to find that he and his wife had made equal financial contributions. But the three appeal judges agreed with the trial judge that substantial weight should be given to the burden on the wife resulting from her husband’s significant absences and her son’s needs.

Do you need assistance with a property settlement matter? Please call Cristina Huesch here at Alliance Family Law to discuss your specific situation.

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