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News & Articles

Osborne Morris & Morgan > News and Articles > Family > Saudi prince fails to gain immunity from divorce settlement

Saudi prince fails to gain immunity from divorce settlement

Posted on 30 Mar 2016, in Family

A billionaire Saudi sheikh who has claimed that he is exempt from legally having to pay a divorce settlement or child support had his argument overturned in a case that has been heard in High Court. Bedfordshire residents may be aware that one of the privileges of diplomatic immunity is the dispensation from legal actions. The sheikh had maintained that his diplomatic status granted him freedom from U.K. legislation regarding a financial payout following his divorce.

The judge decided that the Saudi had arranged for his diplomatic appointment purely to avoid a financial settlement and ruled that immunity should not apply to his situation. He had been given the position of permanent representative to the International Maritime Organisation by the island of Saint Lucia in 2014. As a result of this High Court ruling, his ex-wife has been given leave to pursue a settlement claim through the U.K courts.

She said that she is seeking a settlement agreement in Britain because it is his country of residence, and although he had divorced her in Saudi Arabia, she was never told about the annulment of their marriage. The sheikh, who has been estimated to be worth £4 billion, pointed out that he had purchased a residence for her in California and that she was receiving a monthly payment of $100,000. A legally binding divorce settlement through the U.K. courts could result in a much higher amount.

London has been described as the world’s divorce capital city following a number of instances where high profile divorces have resulted in significantly higher settlements than might have been agreed elsewhere. A solicitor who has experience in handling family law disputes can often provide legal assistance to a spouse during a settlement dispute through negotiation or representation in court.


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