Judge Sees Through Attempt to Hide Assets

When a couple divorced in 2014, the ex-husband was ordered to pay his ex-wife periodical payments of £120,000 per year after he was found to have used a variety of stratagems to make himself appear worse off than he really was.

A mere three months later, he began legal proceedings for an order to reduce the amount of the payments. The dispute wound on and on and by the time it reached court in 2017, the total estimated legal costs for the ex-husband and ex-wife ran to hundreds of thousands of pounds, whilst the couple were said by the judge to both be 'on the face of it, deep in debt'.

The original judgment included the comment from the judge that 'I am not deterred by the consideration that for the moment the husband maintains that he has neither an income nor access to funds for living other than by borrowing from friends and relatives who in due course he must repay'.

On appeal, the High Court found no reason to vary the order.

The result of the protracted litigation due to the ex-husband's intransigence has been the running up of disproportionate legal costs, which will largely or completely fall on him.