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Wigan Family Law Blog

Colin Montgomerie's second divorce may cost him £5 million

The golfer and television commentator Colin Montgomerie is facing a £5 million divorce settlement payout after his wife accused him of cheating on her with a number of women during their eight-year marriage. Golf enthusiasts in the Greater Manchester area may remember that the sportsman was a Ryder Cup captain, but more recently he has been in the media after news that he started divorce proceedings against his second wife.

The 52-year-old golfer's previous marriage ended in 2004 after his first wife is thought to have demanded that he put their relationship before his career. He married his present wife in 2008 and until recently they lived in a house valued at £2.5 million in Perthshire. She has four children of her own from her first marriage and in 2003 received an inheritance of £20 million when her former husband passed away. She is now thought to be seeking the family home and £5 million as part of the divorce settlement.

Unfair settlement challenge rejected by court

The former spouse of a noted barrister has had her plea for a new divorce settlement turned down in Appeal Court in London. She received £72,500 in a settlement in the Australian courts and is now living on benefits while her ex-husband is living in the £1.6 million property in west London that the couple once shared. Couples in the Greater Manchester area going through a divorce may wish to note that one of the judges hearing the case said that the current increased need of the ex-wife was not a valid reason to put aside the original settlement.

The couple were married for less than three years before divorcing in 2009 and have a daughter who is now aged eight. He is a successful employment law barrister who became a QC in 2014 and has remarried. The terms of the divorce settlement saw him pay maintenance to his ex-wife until 2012 and ongoing annual child support payments of almost £10,000. His former spouse was born in Australia and had returned there at the time the couple separated.

Divorce settlement rescinded after ex forgets to sign papers

The former spouse of a millionaire businessman was granted a rescission of her divorce settlement after a judge in New York heard that the documents had never been signed by her ex-husband, a former London commodities tycoon. Residents of Greater Manchester may be surprised to learn that the terms of the cancelled agreement would have benefited him had he signed the document as he is now bound by a previous agreement that requires him to pay $61 million within four years.

The agreement that was rescinded by a New York City judge would have seen him pay his ex-wife $5 million annually for 12 years. Instead, she will now receive $11 million immediately and a further $50 million over four years. In addition, she has been awarded a $30 million penthouse apartment in Park Avenue and, according to her ex-husband, is in line for a $90 million pay out when he dies. She is also owner of the Lady Sheila Stable with a number of successful racehorses which have been valued at $120 million.

Billionaires implicated in hiding assets from spouses

A high-profile document leak involving Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca showed that the company played a major role in helping numerous individuals to prevent their spouses from obtaining divorce assets they might have been entitled to. In one email, the firm's staff even made light of its intentions to help a man hide his assets before he went through a formal divorce. Manchester's married population may be interested to know that in addition to well-known British property developer Scot Young, the firm's clientele included individuals in Russia, Thailand, Ecuador and the Netherlands.

Observers say that firms like Mossack Fonseca commonly help their clients hide assets in offshore tax havens. The emails showed that in addition to transferring properties like real estate holdings to shell companies, billionaires moved possessions like artwork and furniture out of their shared homes when they believed their marriages were headed towards divorce. One of the shell companies involved in this obfuscation was no more than a post box, but its assets included paintings by famous artists and palatial household furnishings.

Equality of divorce settlements

In a move that may affect fathers in the Greater Manchester area, Ministers are being urged to put in place measures to encourage men to spend time taking care of their children. MPs are also keen to see more being done to prevent the discrimination at work of women who are pregnant or have young children. But a legal decision by the House of Lords in 2000 that aimed to provide better financial security for women has resulted in some women voluntarily reducing their working hours and choosing to stay at home to care for their children.

A study by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills revealed that most women felt that mothers of new born children should be given a minimum of nine months maternity leave and over 25 per cent felt that raising children should take the place of a working career. In addition, a 2014 Education Department survey showed that most working mothers would reduce their hours if their financial situation allowed it and more than 30 per cent would stop working entirely.

"The Archers" raises awareness of domestic abuse

The long running radio series "The Archers" has been credited with increasing widespread recognition of domestic abuse in the U.K. Listeners of the Radio 4 drama in the Greater Manchester area will have been aware of the storyline that includes the character Helen Archer being subjected to domestic violence by her husband. Speaking for the charity Women's Aid, the organisation's chief executive said that the plot of the radio show accurately reflected many instances of real life situations and had the power to change public opinion.

The introduction of a new law means that emotional and psychological abuse are criminal offences even if physical violence has not been a factor. The plot in "The Archers" shows how the female character has been isolated from her social circles and had her spirit and personality eroded by her husband. The nature of the abusive relationship portrayed in the programme mirrors authentic occurrences, according to Women's Aid, and in many instances the woman is not even aware that the abuse is taking place.

Divorce settlement leaves ex-husband penniless

A divorce court judge awarded a mother of three all of the family assets saying that his priority was to ensure that she and her children were homed and cared for. He then gave her ex-husband a suspended sentence for being in arrears in maintenance and other household debts. The judge's decision to hand over the entire family estate to the ex-wife may surprise residents in the Greater Manchester area, especially in light of her extravagant spending habits.

The couple spent most of their multimillion pound fortune during their 25 year marriage, buying houses, cars and horses, and sending their children to a private school. Their wealth had dwindled to £560,000 and the judge decided that the entire amount was necessary to meet the needs of the children and their mother. Her ex-husband is contesting the judgement in the Court of Appeal and has said that since their divorce her income could have been higher and complained that she had spent £5,000 on a birthday party for herself.

Ex-husband told to explain missing millions

An ex-husband has been accused in the High Court of using correction fluid on his bank statements to hide deposits worth £6 million in order to avoid paying his divorce settlement. People in the Greater Manchester area may be aware that if a spouse fails to disclose relevant financial interests, the courts have the power to find that person in contempt and impose a jail term. The ex-husband defended himself saying that the missing money was used to pay creditors and has proposed a settlement amount to his wife of less than £90.

The couple met in London in 1984 and after they were married spent several years living in Hong Kong and Singapore where he was working while she raised their three children. His successful businesses meant that he was able to purchase a number of historic properties including a chateau in France and Appleby Castle in Cumbria, which became the family home when the couple moved back to the U.K. in 1998.

Ex-husband accused of excessive spending before settlement

The ex-wife of a millionaire property magnate has been successful in obtaining a temporary High Court injunction in order to stop her former husband from spending their money before a court rules on how the marital assets will be divided. Her request was granted in December, but spouses in Manchester facing a similar situation may be interested to hear that she is back in High Court to ask that the injunction be made permanent.

The couple had built a property portfolio worth £18 million in the East Midlands and were living a sumptuous life before their divorce in Israel in 2012. Included in their fortune were luxury cars and a five-bedroom family home outside of Nottingham valued at £2 million. They reportedly signed an agreement to split their assets equally but the courts have yet to rule on how their estate will be divided. She is seeking a permanent injunction from the High Court after accusing her ex-partner of spending the company assets, transferring money into risky investments and not informing her of transactions worth millions.

Wealthy businessman divorces his wife

The multimillionaire James Caan has separated from his wife of 32 years and may be facing a divorce settlement of £25 million. Greater Manchester viewers of "Dragons' Den" may recall he was a judge on the show for a number of years. The 55-year-old businessman was born in Pakistan but grew up in the U.K. where he made his fortune, estimated to be worth £100 million, with the help of his wife.

Born Nazim Khan, he saw the movie "The Godfather" and realised that the actor James Caan had a surname that sounded similar to his. For fun he began using the name James Caan with clients and on his business cards before officially changing his name by deed poll several years later. His exploits in business and the charitable works of his James Caan Foundation earned him a CBE in 2015, and he was chosen to head the commission for social mobility by the government.