High Court sees ‘phenomenal’ divorce battle over £500,000 holiday home

Published: 4th April 2017

An estranged couple embroiled in a dispute over a £500,000 holiday home have spent a combined £800,000 on their battle in the High Court in London, which Mr Justice Holman has described as ‘phenomenal’.

Michael and Margie Hanley lived together in Wentworth in Surrey, but took their divorce battle to court over their holiday home in the Irish village of Cornamona.

Their bitter trial eventually ended after it was heard that the couple had reached an agreement that would see Mrs Hanley gain ownership of the property based in County Galway, Ireland. The couple will also split money and assets of up to some £14 million.

The judge heard that during the marriage the couple had lived in several homes in Europe, the United States and also the Far East, due to Mr Hanley’s work.

Mr Hanley, a retired millionaire after a career with multinational General Electric, said that his 33-year marriage came to an end after he found out his ex-wife was having an affair. As well as denying an affair, Mrs Hanley stated that her ex-husband had previously said that she would be allowed the holiday home, and therefore he had taken her to court in order to punish her.

Mr Hanley had been living at the house in Cornamona in recent months, whilst Mrs Hanley had stayed in Wentworth. Mr Hanley wanted the house to be his retirement base; however his ex-wife said she wanted the house because generations of her family had lived in the village.

After hearing suggestions that the couple share the house at different times of the year, or that one of the pair reside in a different part of Cornamona, Mrs Hanley said: ‘We are getting divorced. The village isn't big enough for both of us.’

Mr Justice Holman, of the Family Division of the High Court, told them that he was ‘very, very glad’ that they were able to reach an agreement and wished the pair all possible happiness in their new lives.

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