An estranged couple currently caught up in divorce proceedings are battling over a £500,000 shared holiday home.
At a public hearing in the Family Division of the High Court, Michael Hanley, 60 and wife Margie, 56, have staked rival claims to a Judge seeking sole ownership of a house in the Irish village of Cornamona, County Galway.
Reports suggest that the disgruntled couple, who once lived together in Wentworth, Surrey, and used their second home in County Galway as a holiday retreat, have collectively racked up legal bills of more than £800,000 fighting over the property, in what has been described as a “Titanic” legal battle.
The High Court heard that the couple had built the house together several years ago, but spent very little time at the property as Mr Hanley’s career had taken him abroad.
Mr Hanley told the High Court that the duo’s 33-year marriage fell apart in recent years after he discovered that his wife was having an affair.
However, Mrs Hanley denied the accusations in Court and claimed that her estranged husband was “punishing and torturing” her by ‘pretending’ to want the County Galway home.
In response, the disgruntled husband insisted that he wished to live in the house and enjoy its “spectacular views”. He said that he had many “cherished memories” of the £500,000 home.
Responding, Mrs Hanley told Mr Justice Holman that the home was her “backbone” and added “If I were to lose it, it would be like losing a child”.
She added: “We are getting divorced. The village isn’t big enough for both of us”.
Mr Justice Holman said that the couple, who also jointly-own a property in Florida, would need to split assets totalling more than £10million.
The High Court is scheduled to hear a further legal argument next week prior to making a decision.