Divorce and Finances
In the case of Prest V Prest, the Court considered the enforcement of maintenance payments to the Wife.
The parties married in 1993 and enjoyed a very high standard of living.
There were four children of the marriage.
The parties separated in 2008 and subsequently divorced in 2011.
The Wife applied for a financial remedy order and in November 2011, the Family Division made findings in respect of the Husband’s finances and the amount to be paid to the Wife. The Husband was ordered to transfer the marital home to the Wife and pay maintenance to the Wife, along with a lump sum of £17.5 million.
The Husband failed to make the payments required.
In view of this, the Wife bought proceedings in July 2014 against the Husband claiming he had not paid any of the maintenance due to her or the children. The Wife bought a judgement summons against the Husband, seeking his committal to prison.
The Wife submitted that a total of £428,200.00 was owed and the Husband had the means to pay the funds due.
Further, the Wife submitted that the Husband had not paid any of the lump sum due and had not transferred the marital home to her as required.
The Husband submitted that his business had collapsed and his days of oil trading were over.
The Court considered that on the evidence provided, the Husband was in default in the sum of £360,200.00 and found that the Husband had or did have the means to pay the sum since February 2012.
The Husband failed to provide any proper clarification of his financial circumstances and his position in respect of the collapse of his business, was inconsistent with his position in 2011.
The Court was satisfied that the Husband had refused or neglected to pay the sums due, despite the fact he had the resources to enable him to do so.
The Court considered that the Wife had proved the necessary elements of the charge made in the judgement summons to a criminal standard.
In view of this, the Court imposed a sentence of four weeks imprisonment on the Husband, suspended for three months on condition the Husband paid the sum of £360,200.00 within that period.
Family Law Solicitors Eastbourne, Hailsham and Polegate
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