A woman has won a “hugely acrimonious” court battle against her ex-husband over their £1.4 million family home. The wife obtained a religious divorce in 2013 and later spoke out about restrictions placed on women in the orthodox Jewish community. The husband initially remained in the matrimonial home with their three children.

In April 2018, the husband lost a legal battle against his wife over the property and was ordered to leave. The wife’s application fell under the remit of civil law as the parties had obtained a religious divorce only. Financial orders under the umbrella of family law were not available to either party at that stage as neither had commenced civil divorce proceedings. Had the proceedings have fallen within family law legislation, more particularly the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 the outcome would likely have been very different with a greater emphasis being placed upon equality and sharing.

In response the husband unsurprisingly filed for divorce. A High Court judge said the divorce petition was a “cynical ploy” by the husband to claim a larger share of the property. The wife is due to receive £810,000 from the sale of the home, once debts are paid, compared with £165,000 for the husband, this is based upon the wife’s contribution. Contribution carries a much greater weight under civil legislation.

The Judge rejected the husband’s attempt to have the case sent to the family courts where he could have fought to keep all the equity in the property, that decision was upheld on appeal. It was recognised that the initiation of divorce proceedings was a ploy by the husband to alter the decision of the Court.

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