A recent case in the High Court has highlighted the dangers of ‘on the cheap’ divorces and what can happen if the legal process is rushed and without full financial disclosure.
A doctor’s wife has had to swap her £3.2 million home for a rented council flat and is now claiming benefits after it is said that the cheap divorce ‘went completely wrong’.
The couple ended their 17 year marriage in 2006 but opted to develop their home into 15 luxury flats in order to maximise funds for them both on their divorce. It was agreed that the wife would pay her husband £500,000 for his share of the house to finance the development, and a further £1 million on completion.
However, the settlement was not actually approved by a judge when they took it to court and she could not get any further finance for the work as lenders turned her down due to a matrimonial rights restriction over the property that her husband registered.
The wife sued her former solicitor for £2 million damages, claiming they should have explained what signing the consent order of settlement meant, which is effectively nothing without court approval.
The husband left the marriage with £630,000 in assets plus the £500,000 his wife gave him for his share of the house. The case has since been settled on a confidential basis.
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