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Our blog provides illustrated practical guides for those going through the divorce process, plus news on divorce, money and family breakdown.

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30 March 2015

Wife awarded 80% cent of husband's property in divorce ruling

A millionaire businessman has claimed a divorce ruling that gave his ex-wife 80 per cent of their property has left him too poor to get on London’s housing ladder, reports The Evening Standard.

David Stocker, 61, insisted the settlement was “unfair and disproportionate” — especially as his former spouse has no children to care for.

The construction firm boss had been used to the high life during his marriage to wife Avril, with a five-bedroom, £1 million west London home, a £100,000 yacht and a villa in Spain.

But now he says his life of luxury is over, and told a judge he had been left effectively “homeless”. Outside court, his ex-wife, 62, said: “When you get divorced, you become poor.”

Mr Stocker claims the divorce ruling has left his ex with property worth £1.8 million — more than seven times his own £250,000 share.

He told the Appeal Court that despite his career he was unable to get back on the property ladder in London.

However, Mr Justice Blake has now told him he must accept his lot.

Mr Stocker had appealed against the decision of a family judge to hand fourb fifths of the £2 million-plus family property to his former wife after their 15-year marriage ended in 2011.

He had to sell his boat — which Mrs Stocker valued at £100,000 — and hand her their marital home in Ruislip.

Mr Stocker, whose business is based in Rickmansworth, was also told to split the Spanish villa — which he valued at more than £500,000 — with his ex.

The building boss, representing himself, told Mr Justice Blake he was baffled by the decision, saying: “We have got no kids — why is it not 50/50?”

He said he could no longer afford a barrister in the divorce battle, which has been running for four years, adding: “The assets have 80 per cent gone her way. All I’m asking for is a home.”

But Mr Justice Blake told Mr Stocker he had no hope of overturning the ruling. The judge concluded:

“None of the matters [Mr Stocker] raises constitutes a basis for appeal which has any prospect of success.”

After the ruling, Mrs Stocker said she did not feel like she had come out of the marriage a winner. “When you get divorced, you become poor — the only people who have won out of all this are the lawyers,” she added.

Defending her payout, she said she had worked hard to make the family construction firm a success. “It’s very sad,” she added.  “We had a long relationship, but all relationships are fraught. I’m very philosophical now, but it was a very hurtful time."