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'Special Contributions' and their effect on divorce

From the BBC

Former Manchester United footballer Ryan Giggs will argue he made a “special contribution” to the creation of wealth during his marriage, a divorce court judge has been told.

Giggs, 43, is embroiled in a dispute over money after the breakdown of his marriage to wife Stacey.
Mr Justice Cobb, who is presiding over the High Court hearings, heard Giggs will call witnesses to back his claims.
Millionaires must show “an X factor” to avoid an even split in marital assets
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Sally Robinson, head of the Family Law Team at Wilson Browne Solicitors comments:

When making final orders in financial proceedings on divorce the court must have regard to a range of factors, one of which is contribution.

When considering each party’s contribution to the marriage or civil partnership, there should be no discrimination between the breadwinner and the homemaker when making a final order.

Fairness dictates this process and an equal division is often the starting point, but will usually end with an assessment of each party’s needs.  In very exceptional cases it is possible for a party to argue that their contribution to the marriage was “stellar” or “special”.  This is usually in cases of substantial assets, where a party argues that their contribution is so significant that the principle of non-discrimination should be departed from and the final award increased in their favour.  Stellar or special contribution is not restricted to financial contributions, but it is difficult to think of instances in which non-financial contributions would be exceptional enough. It will be interesting to see whether the Court accepts Ryan Gigg’s arguments and thus alter their shares accordingly.

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