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Wife is handed $700,000 by the courts so she can divorce her multi-millionaire husband

Glamorous blonde housewife is handed $700,000 by the courts so she can fight her multi-millionaire husband in bitter ‘divorce of the century’ after their marriage collapsed

  • Stephen Biggs and his wife, Sophie, are in the middle of NZ’s largest divorces 
  • The Court of Appeal ruled Mr Biggs must pay his wife $700,000 ‘without delay’ 
  • The money will cover the costs of Mrs Biggs’ legal fees as she has no income
  • His wife claims Mr Biggs had a net worth of $59m when they filed for divorce

A multi-millionaire’s glamorous wife has been awarded $NZD700,000 to cover the costs of her legal fees so she can continue divorce proceedings against her husband. 

Sophie Annabelle Biggs is seeking her share of an estimated $59 million from her business executive husband Stephen Timothy Biggs in one of New Zealand’s biggest divorce battles.

The country’s Court of Appeal ruled this week that Mr Biggs must pay the considerable sum of money to Mrs Biggs ‘without delay’.  

The judgment noted Mrs Biggs had incurred costs of over $1million which she could not pay herself because she was the couple’s primary caregiver of three children and had no independent income. 

The Court of Appeal has ruled on June 11 that Stephen Timothy Biggs (right) must pay $700,000 to Sophie Annabelle Biggs (left) ‘without delay,’ in one of New Zealand’s largest divorce cases

Mr Biggs was the director of agricultural asset and investment firm during their marriage but the court heard he has since resigned. 

Mrs Biggs claimed her soon to be ex-husband was worth $20million when they married in 2011 and that his net worth upon their application for divorce was $59million.

The couple lived together in an NZ$8.6million home in Closeburn Station, Queenstown, which is currently on the market. 

The judgment noted their former home was ‘undoubtedly relationship property,’ and is subject to a ‘powerful’ presumption of equal sharing.   

If a marriage or legal civil union in New Zealand lasts longer than three years then all property defined as ‘relationship property’ is to be divided equally between the parties. 

This includes the family home, any income earned during the relationship, any property acquired during the relationship or any increase in the value of property owned by only one party prior to the relationship. 

The judgement noted Mrs Biggs had incurred costs of over $1million which she could not pay herself because she was the couple's primary caregiver of three children and had no independent income

The judgement noted Mrs Biggs had incurred costs of over $1million which she could not pay herself because she was the couple’s primary caregiver of three children and had no independent income

Court documents stated her husband ‘has, or can raise, funds to pay the interim distribution’ and believed the money would be repayable from Mrs Bigg’s share of the Closeburn sale.    

Mrs Biggs’s costs included almost $500,000 to her legal team, which are located in New Zealand and Australia, where the couple currently reside, and almost $500,000 to her accountant. 

She stated her advisers had been putting up the fees to support her case and the Court of Appeal declared that was not reasonable.  

This judgement came after Mrs Biggs previously went to the Court of Appeal after a High Court judge had ruled she could not access crucial information which she claimed was paramount to her case.

The court granted Mrs Biggs the $400,000 interim payment and access to some of the documents her legal team had requested, including any investments her husband made from 2011 to 2016. 

Mrs Biggs claimed her soon to be ex-husband was worth $20million when they married in 2011 and that his net worth upon their application for divorce was $59million

Mrs Biggs claimed her soon to be ex-husband was worth $20million when they married in 2011 and that his net worth upon their application for divorce was $59million

Court documents stated her husband 'has, or can raise, fund to pay the interim distribution' and believed the money would be repayable from Mrs Bigg's share of the sale of their $8.6 Closeburn home in Queenstown

Court documents stated her husband ‘has, or can raise, fund to pay the interim distribution’ and believed the money would be repayable from Mrs Bigg’s share of the sale of their $8.6 Closeburn home in Queenstown

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk