Bitter couple blow $700,000 on a very acrimonious divorce – as they battle over numerous assets

Warring couple blow an extraordinary $700,000 on a VERY acrimonious divorce battle over their home, cars, boat and jewellery worth $3.6million

  • Melbourne couple in their 60s spent $700,000 on legal fees during divorce
  • Assets including a home, cars, boat and jewellery then needed to be awarded
  • The multiple assets of bitter couple were said to be worth close to $3.6 million
  • Judge Alex­andra Harland described the incurred legal fees as ‘staggering’

A bitter couple have blown $700,000 on legal fees during a divorce battle over assets worth a combined $3.59million.  

The Melbourne pair, both in their 60s, were married for 36 years before separating in 2017, sparking a four-year battle over their home, superannuation, jewellery, a cash inheritance and a boat.

Federal Circuit Court judge Alex­andra Harland described the incurred legal fees as ‘staggering’ during her March decision, where she awarded the wife 56 per cent of the property pool and the husband 44 per cent.

A bitter Melbourne based couple have already blown $700,000 in divorce proceedings – on legal fees alone (stock image)

The couple, in their 60s, had a number of shared assets, including a luxury boat (stock image)

The couple, in their 60s, had a number of shared assets, including a luxury boat (stock image)

‘I am troubled by the quantum of legal fees the parties have incurred in these proceedings,’ the judge said. 

‘The parties have incurred approximately $350,000 each. That is a staggering sum.’

Court delays and ongoing disagreements between the warring couple, who have two adult children together, also contributed to the mounting costs.  

In the case before Judge Harland, it was revealed the wife was working two jobs and earning about $104,000 a year.

The husband was not working due to medical issues.

In her judgement Judge Harland awarded the wife 56 per cent of the parties’ assets due to an adjustment for the inheritance from her father, with the husband receiving the remaining 44 per cent.

Lawyer Peter Szabo, who represented the husband, told The Australian he tried to keep costs down ‘but the way the wife pitched her case required intensive and costly legal work to respond’. 

Olivia Grobtuch for Kennedy Partners said: ‘The wife was deeply distrustful and suspicious about the husband’s position, particularly as they had lived overseas, which she felt gave him opportunities for hiding assets.

‘She was also deeply distressed at his failure to abide by an agreement reached at mediation and to make what she considered proper disclosure.’ 

An inquiry into the family law system last month recommended legal fees in property cases be capped at 10 per cent of the disputed amount or $50,000, whichever was higher, after a spate of cases where fees exceeded the value of contested assets.

The Melbourne couple were together for 36 years before splitting - their luxury home will now be sold (stock image)

The Melbourne couple were together for 36 years before splitting – their luxury home will now be sold (stock image)

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