The Court of Appeal has recently granted an appeal in the case of XW v XH where the court considered the impact of the husband's financial contribution to the marriage.
The couple married in 2008 and had one child. The husband's company had become extremely profitable during the course of the marriage. Upon separation the wife sought an equal share of the assets.
The wife was initially awarded 29% of the family wealth. The court had accepted some of the "special contribution" arguments made by the husband.
However, the judgment was overruled by by the Court of Appeal in December 2019. It was held by the appeal court that the wife was entitled to the equal share she sought. The court found that the wife's role in supporting the family, acting as the homemaker and child carer was significant. The wife's role enabled the husband to pursue his successful career which led to the generation of wealth. The court found it was only fair for the wife to share in the financial fruits generated during the marriage.
It has always been challenging for the financially stronger spouse to make arguments of "special contribution" on divorce. This judgment makes it clear that financial contributions will not be given greater weight than domestic contributions including caring for the family or being a homemaker. This judgment provides confirmation of the importance of achieving a fair outcome upon divorce.
The judgment has ensured that financial contributions – earning the income – are not prioritised over domestic contributions – taking care of children and looking after family members.