It is important to ensure that the financial aspect of your divorce is complete especially if you are a rich international businessman or woman.
In the above case the parties divorced in Slovenia in 2011 and the husband has since remarried. However, the wife moved to London in 2008 and has managed to have her spousal maintenance claim transferred from Slovenia to England where it is assumed the courts will be more generous to her claim.
As The Telegraph reports:
- Last year family judge Mr Justice Moylan gave Mrs Ramadani the go-ahead to claim spousal maintenance in an English divorce court.
- But Mr Ramadani challenged the decision, saying it was unfair for her to have “a second bite of the maintenance cherry” in the English courts which he said were known for their generosity to dependants.
- Today, Lord Justice McFarlane said Mr Ramadani had “fallen a long way short” in his quest to stop his ex claiming a share of his millions.
- She had withdrawn her maintenance claim in Slovenia and was free to move the fight to England, he ruled.
With the globalisation of people’s lives and many couples owning assets in more than one country forum hunting is an important consideration. England has a reputation for being the most generous to the weaker party and has no limit on the term upon which spousal maintenance can be set. There are still whole of life orders being made. Some jurisdictions limit this to 3 years. The court has a duty to consider a clean break in very case but will not order one if it will cause undue hardship and there is wide judicial discretion in this regard. Each Judge makes an order based on what he considers fair.
So the lesson for the rest of us is the same as anything else in life – tie up loose ends. How many other things are waiting to be completed – your will? Transfer of your gas and electricity account?
Many people of course avoid finalising the matrimonial finances on divorce because of the potential cost. They consider that a gamble against a future claim is one worth taking. For some this pays off but when it goes wrong the costs tend to be far worse. Plus, as has been made clear recently by the Supreme Court – there is no long stop date in family law – unlike other areas of law which are governed by the statute of limitations – so a claim could arise 30 years hence… or even longer…