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Breakthrough in family law as anaesthetist ordered to pay 100% of assets to support his children
- AuthorSam Miles
The Court of Appeal has recently upheld a family judge’s decision to order an anaesthetist to give 100% of his assets to his former wife. The case comes as a warning to those looking to shy away from making regular maintenance payments for the benefit of their children, and here Sam Miles, Family Partner, reviews the facts of the case and what motivated the judge to make the remarkable award of 100%.
Essam and Enas Aly married in 2002 and they went onto have a son and a daughter. The couple separated in 2011 and he moved to Bahrain in 2012, where he has since re-married and had another child. Since his move in 2012, he has failed to pay any child support and being out of the jurisdiction of the Child Support Agency and the courts of England and Wales, family court judge Mark Rogers noted the likelihood that Essam Aly would continue to abdicate his responsibility and not make any payments in the future.
“It was this factor that drove the judge to rule that Essam Aly had to pay his former wife the entirety of his fortune of £550,000; £250,000 from the sale of their home and £300,000 in bank accounts,” explains Sam. “Unsurprisingly, he appealed the decision, with his barrister stating that the ruling amounted to ‘substantive unfairness’ and that there had been no consideration for the husband’s needs.
“In cases such as these, the judge is required to give first consideration to the welfare of the children when determining financial provision proceedings,” continues Sam. “Given Aly’s unwillingness to provide for his children in the past, judge Mark Rogers felt he had no alternative but to award the full £550,000 to the former wife, to safeguard their future. It’s his belief that Aly can continue to live off his current income.”
While this is the first case in the UK involving an order to pay everything to an ex-wife, Sam is sure it won’t be the last. “This comes as a stark warning to those who do not make regular payments to support their children,” concludes Sam. “There have been changes to the Child Maintenance Service in the last 12 months, some of which could deter parents from using the system. This obviously comes with the danger that parents will avoid making payments, and so if parents do not wish to use the CMS, we would recommend that they try to reach an agreement themselves when it comes to child maintenance payments. If this is proving difficult, or one party is refusing to make or missing payments, then Mediation could be an option to come to an arrangement that both parents are happy with.”
For more information on how Warner Goodman LLP can help your family, contact Sam Miles or the rest of the Family team on 02380 717431 or visit their section of the website here.
This is for information purposes only and is no substitute for, and should not be interpreted as, legal advice. All content was correct at the time of publishing and we cannot be held responsible for any changes that may invalidate this article.