Q: My husband and I are not getting along for several reasons and I am considering divorce. He was made redundant recently and I know he received a good redundancy package but he is being secretive. He has told me it is nothing to do with me. Is he right?
A: The purpose of a redundancy package is to compensate for loss of employment until alternative employment is found but it is unclear if your husband is actively looking for work or has found further employment.
The starting point is that any redundancy package is a martial asset acquired during the course of the marriage and therefore if you do decide to separate it may be fair, depending on the circumstances, to divide the redundancy monies and for you to receive a share. It may depend on whether there are sufficient assets to satisfy both of your needs on separation, given his redundancy monies will be a resource available to you both.
Upon any divorce, you will both be required to produce full and frank financial disclosure setting out your respective financial positions. If your husband tries to hide or spend his redundancy monies to defeat your claim you may need to consider the option of making an application for a freezing injunction to stop him from doing this. Your husband’s financial circumstances will be scrutinised and the Court is likely to take a dim view of any attempt to defeat your claim, and may reflect this in the settlement terms. The Court has a wide discretion when determining how marital assets are divided and looks at a number of factors to include the parties’ needs, contributions and resources. The relevance of the redundancy monies will be determined having regard to all the circumstances.
As this is a complex matter you should seek the early advice of a family lawyer.