In the world of financial settlements there are many cautionary tales about what you should and should not do when making an agreement with a former spouse. But being able to read the documents you are signing is probably one piece of advice which does not require illustration.
However, in April 2014, a case was reported in the Telegraph of a wealthy man who signed an agreement to pay his estranged wife £60,000 a month in maintenance but later said that he had not known what he was signing – because he was not wearing his reading glasses.
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High court not hoodwinked in divorce settlement claim
The man, described as a “rich Arab” politician in his 60s, had various other wives as a result of polygamous marriages which are legal in his country and had formerly been a minister in the government of his home country.
The unnamed man told the High Court that when his fourth marriage broke down he met with his wife, the Egyptian mother of two of his children, in a Chinese Restaurant, and it was there that she asked him to sign various documents regarding their divorce – one of which detailed the high-value maintenance settlement.
He claimed that at the time of signing he was emotionally disturbed and missing his children because, he claimed, his wife was preventing him from having any contact with them. However, the judge said the man was “no ingénue” and it was very hard to believe the husband would have signed a document which committed him to paying maintenance of £60,000 a month “without appreciating the consequences of his signature”.
In his ruling the judge said he had made “robust assumptions” about the man’s ability to afford high-value payments, but that the wife’s initial “budget” was “absurd”. It was Mr Justice Mostyn’s conclusion that monthly spousal and child maintenance of £33,000 was reasonable.
Do you need a divorce solicitor in London for representation during a financial claim?
If so, then the family lawyers at Healys LLP can act for you during any proceedings arising from relationship breakdown and divorce.
We also provide legal assistance in children matters and can help clients seeking court orders relating to contact and residency.
To find out more, please email the team at email@example.com briefly describing your circumstances and we will call you back to discuss how we may best help you.