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29 year marriage, $32-$39 Million assets, 60/40 split

July 2012 saw a court proceeding worth $32-39 million, accumulated over a 29 year marriage, be fought over in the Family Court of Australia. This particular marriage had produced three children and the mother had been homemaker in their $10 million house.

The father and mother had a successful business of which they had equal shares. The parties had agreed that the mother’s contributions were more homeward focused while the father’s contributions were directed towards the business. Both parties, however, claimed significant contributions in both family and the business side of the relationship. The father claimed a 70/30 split in his favour as he believed his contributions to both the family life and as breadwinner were more valuable to their relationship. The wife disagreed and claimed equal contributions from both parties.

The court stated that the role of homemaker and primary caregiver is often overlooked and undervalued as that parent allows the other parent space and mental clarity to pursue career and income. However, the court noticed that for the past four years of their marriage the parties all of the children had reached adulthood.
The court decided that the contribution towards business was exceedingly greater by the father and awarded him a 60/40 split.

This matter is under appeal.

Smith & Fields [2012] FamCA 510

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Filed under Family Law