Couples must recognise the impact that children’s needs may have on divorce settlements, Carter Lemon Camerons’ family partner Chris Corney has said.
In a recent case, a man was ordered to give every penny to his wife after a divorce court accepted that he had previously “washed his hands” of his family responsibilities.
Four years ago, hospital anaesthetist Essam Aly had left his wife Enas and their two children and moved out to the Persian Gulf. In 2012, he ceased to pay any maintenance or child support.
Last July, a Judge at Birmingham Family Court had ruled that in light of events, 100 per cent of the family’s assets (amounting to £560,000) should go to the mother.
The court heard representations from Mrs Aly that she had received nothing for several years and that her ex-husband had effectively “abdicated responsibility.”
Dr Aly, who used to work at the Queen’s Hospital, Staffordshire, had attempted to challenge the ruling.
His legal team had tried to argue that the 100 per cent divorce ruling was “substantively unfair” and that the court was obliged to take their client’s needs into consideration.
But the Court of Appeal threw out the appeal, having accepting that the medic had been “unwilling” to help his ex-wife and their two children.
Lord Justice McFarlane said: “Looking to the future, there is no expectation that she could look to him for any future payment of maintenance.
“The Judge was required, in determining the outcome of the financial provision proceedings, to give first consideration to the welfare of the two children.”
At Carter Lemon Camerons we understand that the breakdown of a relationship is never easy, and that trying to get to grips with the legal formalities while dealing with complex emotions can be confusing and upsetting. For advice on any stage of the process, please contact Chris Corney.