How the other half live

St. Lawrence Giving the Wealth to the Poor, Palma Giovane
Family Law has just published a summary of a financial remedy case that took place last April, heard by Mr Justice Coleridge, no less. It states that the total assets 'amounted to £4 million', and continues: "Use of White v White etc authorities not helpful in a case in which barely enough to cover needs" (my emphasis). I'm sorry? FOUR MILLION POUNDS IS BARELY ENOUGH FOR A FAMILY'S NEEDS? What exactly do they need? Gold-plated toilet paper?

Now, I know that 'needs' are assessed with reference to the living standards previously enjoyed by the family, rather than the real needs of 'ordinary' people (you know, a roof over their heads and enough money to put a meal on the table each day, that sort of thing), but even so, I find it extremely difficult to imagine just what needs are so great as to use up such a sum. With 'only' half of a £4 million pot I could live like a Lord for the rest of my days, and still have enough left over to leave a decent inhertance for my butler.

OK, I haven't read the full report of this case (it doesn't yet seem to be available on the free web). It may be that the assessment of needs was quite reasonable in the circumstances. Still, it does make one wonder just how in touch with reality is our judiciary, and also gives an indication that 'financial suffering' in recession-hit Britain is all relative.


  1. Relatively short marriage, one child, overwhelming contribution by husband from premarital assets - how far do you suppose the court deviated from equality in his favour then?


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