Wife to get €18,000 per month and two homes in settlement
A woman is entitled to €18,000 monthly maintenance, the €1.6m family home and a €1.7m holiday home after her "extremely dynamic" businessman husband admitted to repeated and continuing adultery, a High Court judge has said.
Mr Justice David Keane granted a decree of judicial separation after the court was told that the woman cannot be reasonably expected to remain with her husband.
On the basis of a €7.4m valuation of available assets, the judge said the mother-of-four and homemaker was entitled to the maintenance, two homes and half of the man's €1.8m pension scheme.
The husband, who had average annual earnings of €1.4m for the last five years, can retain his new home, plus other assets including ownership or control of companies valued at some €7.4m; a share portfolio; and various investment properties valued about €2.3m in early 2014 but subject to loan finance of more than €7.7m.
The judge dismissed claims by the man of unreasonable behaviour by his wife, including slapping him twice in the face because he spent significant time with another woman, a friend of the couple, during a holiday suggested by him to reconcile the couple's differences.
The husband also complained about a second incident in which his wife, on the day after he told her their marriage was over in late 2012, slapped him during a dispute.
While physical assault cannot be condoned, it was impossible to regard those "minor" incidents, in the context of the man's affairs, the judge said.
A claim of excessive spending by the wife was also "impossible to sustain" as the husband's business was highly profitable during the marriage and both parties "spent freely", he said.
The judge also noted the couple, aged in their forties, were married for 18 years before the husband told his wife in late 2012 the marriage was over and left to continue or resume a relationship he had embarked on with a friend of his wife's.
He previously had a sexual relationship over several months with an employee and admitted he also engaged in other extra-marital relationships.
Given the background of the adultery, it was surprising he, not the wife, initiated the judicial separation proceedings, the judge said. It was "more surprising", having initiated the case, the husband did not reference the adultery, but sought a decree on grounds of the wife's unreasonable behaviour or irretrievable marital breakdown.
The court accepted the wife's evidence her husband never expressed misgivings about the relationship until he told her the marriage was over.
The court could not grant a decree of judicial separation on a no fault ground because that required a normal marital relationship had not existed for at least one year prior to the initiation of the man's proceedings in January 2013.