A $28 million divorce wrangle that has big implications for trusts begins today in the Supreme Court.
The dispute could have a widespread effect on how trusts are constructed, with a top lawyer earlier this year saying that the fight had redrawn the landscape for this area of law.
Mark Clayton has significant sawmilling interests in the central North Island and his business and other assets are owned by a series of companies and trusts.
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He considers none of the trust assets are relationship property and that his ex-wife is entitled only to their $850,000 matrimonial home and $30,000.
Melanie Clayton, however, believes she is entitled to half of the value of the business and trust assets.
Her valuer was of the view that if her approach was upheld, she could be due half of a property pool estimated at $28.83 million when the parties were in the Family Court.
The pair, who separated almost a decade ago after 17 years of marriage, have already been through the Family Court, High Court and Court of Appeal, where Melanie Clayton's lawyer said she had a "significant win" in February.
Both sides were given leave to challenge parts of the decision to the Supreme Court, which will hear the case over the next two days in Wellington.