KINGSTOWN, SVG (BreadFruit News) – A Georgetown couple who were separated for more than five (5) years have finally settled on the division of the matrimonial assets with the High Court’s intervention.
Joanne Balcombe nee Dabreo petitioned the High Court in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to determine the division of property at the end of her marriage to Allison Balcombe of Georgetown.
Evidence was led that:
Joanne began the proceedings by way of petition for divorce filed on 29th December 2014. At the time of the filing for divorce, the ground for the divorce was that the couple had lived separate and apart for a continuous period in excess of five years since being separated in 1995 at which point the children from the marriage were grown adults.
The former hairdresser who is now in her early 60s sought the court’s help to secure two parcels of land, and a lump sum payment of USD$200 000 for her personal maintenance up to the age of 83 based on her current monthly outgoings. She currently resides in Florida having spent a period of time since the separation in the United Kingdom.
According to the court documents, Mr Balcombe agreed to forego his interest in the home at Port Lucie, Florida valued at USD$132,500.00. He also conceded to transfer two parcels of lands at Arnos Vale at EC$417,000.00.
However, he was reluctant to provide either a lump sum payment or monthly maintenance cost for his ex-wife who is believed to be facing certain health challenges.
The now 70 year old Balcombe told the court that he was ‘way past his prime as to his earning capacity to provide any payment of cash’ to his ex-wife while attempting according to the court to hide his true assets.
Even so, the court was also bemused that Ms Dabreo while receiving social security payments also did not disclose whether she had any bank accounts in her name with over two decades of income unaccounted for between 1995 – 2015.
However, the court was sympathetic to her plea for a minimum USD$748.00 per month to meet her monthly obligations. Judge Byer noted that “on a purely mathematical calculation this would extrapolate to USD$8,976.00 a year or XCD$19,468.94 or say XCD$19,500.00 per annum.”
“In this court’s mind this is not an excessive sum of money for a woman who for twenty years lived in a house as landed gentry and who is now unable to work and remains on disability for a disorder that the respondent himself acknowledges.”
“The petitioner was solely responsible for the emotional needs of the children and contributed to the welfare of the children while periodically assisting the respondent when needed in the tasks associated with the business when he required it.”
In summary, the judge ruled that Balcombe turn over his interest in the property in Florida, the two parcels of land at Arnos Vale and within 12 months to pay his former wife EC$332,000.00