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Divorce settlement rescinded after ex forgets to sign papers

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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The agreement that was rescinded by a New York City judge would have seen him pay his ex-wife $5 million annually for 12 years.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.

The couple first married in 1990 and then divorced in 1994, but two years later they remarried, separating for a second time in 2014. The court observed that the couple had seemed to have concluded extensive negotiations regarding the most recent divorce settlement but ruled to rescind the contract as the documents had not been signed.

When calculating the needs of each partner the court takes into consideration the standard of living the couple enjoyed while they were married. In cases where a couple's assets are substantial, a divorcing spouse may wish to consult with a solicitor familiar with complex asset division in order to learn what may be expected.