Monday 24 October 2016

Millionaire who cheated on wife must give her two homes and €18k-a-month


The Four Courts in Dublin
The Four Courts in Dublin

A WOMAN cannot be reason- ably expected to remain with her businessman husband after his admission of repeated and continuing adultery, a High Court judge has said.

The woman is entitled to a decree of judicial separation, Mr Justice David Keane said.

On the basis of a €7.4m valuation of assets, the judge said the wife, a mother-of-four and full-time homemaker, is entitled to the €1.6m family home and a €1.7m holiday home.

She is also entitled to €18,000 monthly maintenance (€15,000 for herself and €3,000 for the children) and half of the man's €1.8m pension scheme.

The husband had average annual earnings of €1.4m for the past five years.

Assets include ownership or control of companies valued at some €7.4m, bank accounts, shares and various properties valued at about €2.3m in early 2014 but subject to loan finance of more than €7.7m.

The judge dismissed claims by the man of unreasonable behaviour by his wife, including slapping him twice in the face because he spent significant time with another woman - a friend of the couple - during a holiday suggested by him to reconcile the couple's differences.


While the man alleged his wife was "hysterical" and her response was unwarranted, there was no evidence he had suffered any injury, the judge said.

The husband also complained about a second incident in which his wife, on the day after he told her their marriage was over in late 2012, slapped him.

While physical assault can never be condoned, it was impossible to regard those "minor" incidents as behaviour so unreasonable that he could not be expected to live with the wife, the judge said.

The man's claim of excessive spending by the wife was also "impossible to sustain" as the husband's business was highly profitable during the marriage and both parties "spent freely".

The husband had no case for judicial separation for unreasonable behaviour by his wife, he said.

He also noted that the couple, aged in their 40s, were married for 18 years before the husband told his wife in late 2012 the marriage was over and left to continue or resume a relationship he had embarked on with a friend of hers.

He previously had a sexual relationship with an employee and admitted he also engaged in other extra-marital sexual relationships during his marriage.

Given the background of the man's adultery, it was surprising that he, not the wife, initiated the separation proceedings, the judge said.

The husband alleged the couple had no meaningful relationship for more than half of the marriage but later conceded they had sexual relations up to autumn 2012, the judge said.

The court accepted the wife's evidence her husband never expressed misgivings about the relationship until he told her the marriage was over.

The court could not grant a decree of judicial separation on a no-fault ground because that required that a normal marital relationship had not existed for at least one year prior to the initiation of the man's proceedings in January 2013.

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