Woman married to millionaire for 23 months gets £4.25m payout after split

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A woman who was married to a multi-millionaire more than 25 years her senior for 23 months has been given a £4.25 million payout by a family court judge.

Judge Bernard Wallwork heard that the couple had married in Las Vegas in October 2011 and separated in September 2013.

The man, now 65 and worth around £37 million, offered nearly £2 million.

The woman, now 38, wanted £6 million.

Judge Wallwork analysed evidence at a private family court hearing in Manchester last year.

Detail of the case emerged on Friday after the millionaire mounted a High Court appeal.

He complained that the payout was too big but a High Court judge has dismissed his challenge.

Mr Justice Mostyn, who analysed the appeal at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, concluded that Judge Wallwork made a "legitimate" decision.

He said no-one involved could be identified.

Mr Justice Mostyn has outlined detail of Judge Wallwork's decision in a ruling on the man's appeal.

Judges heard that the woman was Ukrainian.

She met the man in 2004 and they had been involved in a relationship for some years before marrying.

In 2007 they had planned to marry but the man "called if off".

The woman had been forced to "leave the country" and the couple had broken up.

They "rekindled" the relationship in late 2010 and married in the United States about a year later.

Judge Wallwork concluded that the man was worth about £35 million before the marriage.

He said the couple enjoyed a "very high standard of living".

They had homes in Cheshire, Knightsbridge and Marbella worth more than £5 million in total.

Judge Wallwork concluded that the woman's ability to work was hampered by health problems.

He said she had suffered "serious psychological harm" as a result of "married life and its breakdown" and her future earning capacity was "very uncertain".

Mr Justice Mostyn said Judge Wallwork had done nothing wrong and added: "It may have been generous, and other judges may have awarded less, but both the assessment of the immediate capital need, and of the amount and duration of the quotidian need, were clearly within the legitimate bracket."