Last week's Court of Appeal judgement in the high profile divorce of property developer Peter Marano and his heiress wife has confirmed that the family court will decide cases based on the value of a family's assets at the time of a final hearing. Mr Marano's investments had fallen in value during the proceedings by a devastating £100,000,000 in 21 months. Attempts by his wealthy wife to avoid paying a £5,000,000 lump sum to bale him out were unsuccessful, even though Mr Marano had indicated that he was going to try and trade his way out of trouble, rather than sell up.
S&B's family partner Nicola Harries commented:
"The Court of Appeal's decision provides helpful clarification about the timing of asset valuations. Courts do not want to over-complicate decisions by having to build in mechanisms to cater for all possible future eventualities. Judges don't have crystal balls: they have to do the best they can with the figures before them, however changed they might be. Much has been made of the possible tactical advantage of seeking a divorce during the economic slump when asset values were at rock-bottom. Spouses who remained in a rocky marriage as the value of their assets fell and then rose again, may now be regretting their decision not to get on with a divorce. Conversely, those spouses unhappily married to wealthy husbands and wives whose fortunes are recovering are likely to think the time is right!"
For further information, please contact Nicola Harries in the Family Department on 01483 302264.