Latest: Estranged Irish couple fighting over £500,000 Galway holiday home in talks to resolve issue

LATEST: An estranged Irish couple who have staged a "Titanic" divorce court battle over a £500,000 holiday home in rural Ireland are negotiating, a judge has been told.

Latest: Estranged Irish couple fighting over £500,000 Galway holiday home in talks to resolve issue

Update 1.58pm: An estranged Irish couple who have staged a "Titanic" divorce court battle over a £500,000 holiday home in rural Ireland are negotiating, a judge has been told.

Margie Hanley, 56, and estranged husband Michael, 60 - who lived together in Wentworth, Surrey - both want the house they jointly own in the village of Cornamona, Co Galway.

Mr Justice Holman has analysed evidence at a public hearing in the Family Division of the British High Court in London over the past two days.

But the judge postponed the start of the third day of the hearing after a barrister leading Mrs Hanley's legal team told him lawyers on both sides are "talking".

Stewart Leech QC said Mr and Mrs Hanley are engaged in "constructive negotiations" aimed at resolving issues.

Mr Justice Holman had urged the Hanleys to try and reach agreement several times during the hearing.

He told them today: "If at all possible this should be resolved by negotiation."

Mr Leech and Stephen Trowell QC, who is leading Mr Hanley's legal team, were due to summarise opposing arguments before the judge delivered a ruling.

Mr Justice Holman said yesterday that the couple, who also have an apartment in Florida, would split cash and assets totalling between £10m and £14m.

He said they had together run up lawyers' bills of more than £800,000 on their ''Titanic battle'' - and he described the figure as ''phenomenal''.

Mr Hanley, who has retired after a career with multinational conglomerate GE, has told how their 33-year marriage hit the rocks after he discovered his wife had an affair.

Mrs Hanley, who denies adultery, said Mr Hanley had told her she could have the house in Cornamona and was ''punishing'' her.

The judge has heard the couple had lived in Europe, the Far East and the United States because Mr Hanley's work had taken him abroad.

Earlier:

An estranged Irish couple are preparing to stake their final claims to a £500,000 holiday home in rural Ireland at the end of a "Titanic" battle in a London divorce court.

Margie Hanley, 56, and estranged husband Michael, 60 - who lived together in Wentworth, Surrey - both want the house they jointly own in the village of Cornamona, Co Galway.

A judge has analysed evidence at a public hearing in the Family Division of the British High Court in London over the past two days.

Mr Justice Holman is scheduled to hear closing legal arguments from lawyers today before making a decision.

The judge said the couple, who also have an apartment in Florida, would split cash and assets totalling between £10m and £14m.

He said they had together run up lawyers' bills of more than £800,000 on their "Titanic battle" - and he described the figure as "phenomenal".

Mr Hanley, who has retired after a career with multinational conglomerate GE, told how their 33-year marriage hit the rocks after he discovered that his wife had an affair.

Mrs Hanley, who denies adultery, said Mr Hanley had told her that she could have the house in Cornamona and was ''punishing'' her.

The judge has heard that the couple had lived in Europe, the Far East and the United States because Mr Hanley's work had taken him abroad.

They had built the house in Cornamona about 16 years ago and had gone there for holidays and at Christmas.

Mr Hanley has been living at the Cornamona house for the past few months and wants it to be a retirement base.

Mrs Hanley, who still lives in Wentworth, says she should have the Cornamona house because generations of her family have lived in the village.

Mr Justice Holman heard that there had been suggestions of Mrs Hanley living elsewhere in Cornamona.

He also raised the possibility of the pair, who have grown-up children, using the house at different times of the year.

But Mrs Hanley told him: ''We are getting divorced. The village isn't big enough for both of us.''

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