Warning to all husbands! If you wash your hands of your family, you are likely to pay for it on divorce.
No one will feel the wrath of the divorce court more than Medic Dr Essam Aly, who was recently made subject to an unusual financial order upon divorce: that his entire £560,000 fortune be given to his ex-wife, which is believed to be the first divorce case of its kind in this jurisdiction.
Dr Aly, a former hospital consultant at the Queen’s Hospital in Burton Upon Trent, married Mrs Aly in 2002 and the couple had 2 children together before separating in 2011. Dr Aly moved to Bahrain the following year where he remarried and subsequently fathered another child with his new wife.
Dr Aly complained to the Court of Appeal that the ruling was unfair, but judges said their decision was deserved because he had neglected his family for over 2 years following his move to Bahrain, hence the Court’s view that his ex-wife deserved “the lion’s share, if not all” of the matrimonial assets.
The Court held that because his ex-wife was to have the sole responsibility and financial burden for bringing the children up, and because they considered that she had “no realistic expectation of getting any further maintenance” from Dr Aly, as he had proved himself to be “unwilling” to financially provide for his family, his Appeal was dismissed.
Whilst is it very rare to award one of the parties on divorce all of the matrimonial assets, the Court has a duty to consider the welfare of any children of the family before considering any other relevant factors. It seems clear in this case that the Court wanted to make an example of Dr Aly for financially abandoning both his former wife and his children for a significant period of time.
One lesson that Dr Aly will learn from his recent loss at the Court of Appeal is that the family Court is not afraid to make brave decisions, where they consider it appropriate to do so. Had Dr Aly chosen not to financially desert his family and achieve a financial settlement with his ex-wife, it is likely that he would have achieved a share of the matrimonial “pot” of assets and would not have walked away penniless.
A willingness by both parties to negotiate a financial settlement on divorce with the assistance of strategic divorce lawyers is essential to ensure that the assets are divided fairly and as cost-effectively as possible.
Pinder Reaux & Solicitors are equipped with a team of forward thinking strategic divorce lawyers who are ready to help you achieve your objectives on divorce as swiftly and cost effectively as possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0208 252 7373 if you would like to speak with one of our family lawyers either about your ongoing divorce, or if you are contemplating divorce.