In the latest high profile divorce settlement, the Court of Appeal has upheld the Family Court’s decision to award the entirety of the couple’s financial assets to the ex wife. The judge ordered that Enas Aly should receive the family’s £550,000 fortune following her ex spouse’s failure to respect the agreed maintenance orders.
Although a rare occurrence in divorce cases, where the court has significant reason to believe a spouse will not honour the terms of the settlement they may order one party to receive an additional capital allowance from the financial assets. In this instance, the court had reason to believe that Mr Aly would not support his ex wife and children at all following his failure to make any maintenance payments following their divorce in 2011. Since their divorce Mr Aly had also relocated to Bahrain and remarried, and had had another child.
In light of the circumstances (and Mr Aly’s previous failures) the court held that he had “abdicated responsibility” for Ms Aly and their children, and therefore she could not rely on him for future maintenance. On the basis that there was no realistic expectation of Mr Aly making regular payments the court awarded Ms Aly the total amount in one lump sum, ensuring that she would receive the entirety of the couple’s assets.
The case highlights the power of the courts when faced with parties who show consistent disregard or respect for the welfare of their children. As Mr Aly no longer resided in the UK and failed to meet even one payment over the last two years, the judge’s priority became securing the welfare of children, for whom Ms Aly was to have sole responsibility. The judge was forced to take what some may call drastic or even unfair measures against Mr Aly to ensure the children would be properly cared for until they reached an age of financial independence.
Farleys Solicitors has a specialist team of family solicitors who can provide advice about divorce settlements, voluntary child maintenance agreements and about the Child Maintenance Service. For further advice or to speak to a member of our award winning family law team call 0845 050 1958, alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.