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Husbands Inheritances represented almost half of large asset pool

Property – Husband’s inheritances represented 43.5% of $2.7m pool – Long marriage – Contributions assessed 70/30 in his favour – Adjusted for wife’s limited employment opportunities

In Dinsmore [2012] FamCA 798 (18 September 2012) a 28 year marriage that included 4 years of pre-marital cohabitation produced two (now adult) children and net assets of $2.7 million. The husband made initial contributions in the form of a house bought for $45,500 (under mortgage which was ultimately paid out by his father) and contributed inheritances he received one and two years before separation which represented 43.5 per cent of the pool (para 73). Watts J said at para 74:

“Taking into account the extent of the property emanating from the husband’s family and the myriad of other contributions both parties made over a 28 year period, I conclude that the division of assets based on contributions should be 70 per cent to the husband and 30 per cent to the wife.”

Watts J continued at paras 75-81:

“The husband permanently retired in February 2011.

Except as detailed below, I infer both parties are in reasonable health. The wife is eight years younger than the husband. The wife has a longer period of time to support herself than the husband on normal expectations in respect of their life expectancies.

The wife has not worked since September 2010. Around that time she was admitted to hospital. Around December 2010, the wife was admitted to hospital again and was treated for insomnia, anxiety and dizziness.

The wife has also suffered from mental health problems. She began attending upon mental health practitioners around July 2009. She has been prescribed many different types of anti-depressants. She is currently on Temazepam and Crestor.

During cross-examination, the wife expressed a desire to return to the workforce. In 2009, the wife completed a TAFE computer refresher course to improve her employment prospects.

I accept the wife has limited employment opportunities.

The most significant 75(2) factor is the disparity in the capital that they both have as a result of the conclusions on contributions. The wife should receive a 7.5 per cent adjustment.”

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