Life Expectancy & Property Division
A person’s life expectancy can be taken into account in determining a property division. It could be considered in terms of the ‘percentage division’ when looking at the ‘future needs’ component for each spouse.
An appeal was recently granted where the trial judge had made the finding that the husband’s ‘future needs’ in the context of whether or not he received a kidney transplant, were likely to be less than that of the wife’s. The trial judge had allowed a 4.5% adjustment in favour of the wife because her ‘future needs’ would be greater than that of her husband, and whilst other issues were considered there was no other fact taken into account for the ‘future needs’ adjustment.
The difficulty did not lie in the weight attributed to the adjustment, as this is a matter for the trial judge’s discretion but in the fact that the trial judge could not actually make a finding as to life expectancy on the evidence before him. The evidence was inconclusive and the trial judge stated as much, therefore he could not then allow an adjustment.
The matter was remitted for re-hearing.