A woman in England has petitioned for a share of the compensation that her soon-to-be ex-husband received for being sexually abused as a child. The 41-year-old woman wants the sexual abuse compensation to be considered a marital asset and divided as part of the divorce settlement. Her 45-year-old husband wants to donate all of the money to charity.
When he was a child, the woman's husband was subjected to hundreds of incidents of sexual abuse from a family friend. The perpetrator spent three years in jail, and the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority awarded the victim compensation in the amount of £175,000. However, the man says that he never wanted to profit from what happened to him and preferred to leave the money in a charitable trust to help other sexual abuse victims.
Since the money has been in the trust, it has grown to £250,000. The man has argued that his wife is immoral and shameless for attempting to take any of the money out of the trust. Meanwhile, the woman says that she is only employed part-time and needs the money to buy a house for herself and her children. The case will be decided at a hearing scheduled for September.
When two people go through a divorce, assets that were acquired during their marriage are considered part of the marital estate. These marital assets are eligible to be divided as part of the divorce settlement while assets acquired by one spouse before the marriage began cannot be included in the settlement. There are exceptions to the general rules for assets that were acquired during the marriage that were kept separate and never shared by spouses. A person who is unsure of which assets may be kept separate may choose to seek the help of a solicitor.