In the case of G v G , The Family Division made an order for periodical payments in favour of the wife by also taking into account her earning potential and trust interests.
The wife was 33 and the husband, 38. They had one child. The husband earned between £330,000 and £458,000 per annum. The wife had worked as a barrister up until the time she had their son, returning on a part-time basis.
The wife had received dividends and interest from a family holding company for which her father was one of the directors. These payments equated to £1,400 per month and then increased to £1,500 per month. The wife was also the beneficiary of 11 family trusts and had received capital, loans and interest from the trusts as well as gifts from her father.
In deciding the level and duration of periodical payments to award the judge took into account what he believed the trustees would be likely to do in the future. The judge found that this would include assisting the wife purchase a property for her and her son and to help her maintain a reasonably comfortable standard of living whilst encouraging her to maximise her own earnings whilst caring for her son.
The judge also ruled that in 5 to 10 years time the wife was also likely to receive further significant capital or income from the trusts.
Taking into account all principles the judge ruled that the wife should receive periodical payments of £95,500 pa which would reduce to £75,500 pa after two years and reduce again to £55,500 pa after 4 years and to £35,000 pa after 6 years.
The wife’s interests were not matrimonial assets as they had existed before, and would continue after the marriage. They were part of the financial resources that were available to the wife to continue an independent and self-sufficient lifestyle.