Non-compliance in divorce case taken to Supreme Court
A legal battle to ensure the fair division of marital assets will often continue even after a divorce settlement has been reached. Residents of Bedfordshire may wish to consider the case that has recently been heard by the Court of Appeal involving a wealthy Nigerian businessman and his ex-wife. The settlement hearing was initially brought to court in 2011, but the husband’s non-compliance and his various appeals have dragged the proceedings out for years.
The High Court ruled on the terms of divorce settlement giving the wife £17.5 million and annual payments of almost £300,000. The judge at the time declared that these figures were based on his best estimate after he concluded that the husband was concealing his assets in a number of ways. The husband was an oil trader estimated to be worth in the region of £37.5 million, including several properties that were held in the name of various different companies.
After the High Court ordered him to transfer the properties to his ex-partner, he took the case to the Appeal Court who overruled the decision until the Supreme Court reaffirmed it, again instructing him to make the transfers of property to his ex-wife. The case continued in High Court in 2014 when it emerged that he had failed to comply with the ruling and was held in contempt of court. Although he has now lost his second hearing at the Appeal Court, his lawyers have stated that they will continue to challenge the ruling in the Supreme Court again.
Dealing with divorce proceedings where a partner is seeking to conceal marital property and fails to follow the orders of the court can be challenging. When choosing legal representation, a person in this situation may wish to consider a solicitor who has experience in high net worth divorce cases.
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