This case outlines the limitations imposed upon enforcement of financial Court Orders even where there are capital resources to meet the same and the lengths one party will go to to avoid paying such a court ordered settlement. In this case the a husband will now be sent to prison if he returns to the UK but this doesn’t financially assist the wife now who has immediate financial needs.
These cases require careful handling and maybe even a freezing injunction to stop assets being moved or spent when court proceedings are issued. If in doubt err on the side of caution and seek immediate advice. If assets need to be frozen then the sooner this can be done the greater the chance of retrieving / securing more assets before they are disposed.
If anything captures the discrepancy between the life Jeni Francis once lived and the one she now has, it is the 17-year-old faded blue Renault Clio in which she rattles around the French countryside. ‘I used to run a brand new gold Audi Q7,’ says the former primary school teacher with longing. ‘It was lovely and cleverer than I was. When I sat behind the wheel it was like getting into the cockpit of an aeroplane.’ Her current reduced circumstances are particularly puzzling because, on paper at least, she is a millionaire. She and her former husband Paul Grundy, 52, jointly own a successful fencing business in Dubai that enabled the couple to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the Gulf state.
However when Jeni asked for a Divorce her husband went on a £2 million spending spree spending joint resources on lavish goods for himself and his new girlfriend.
The High Court is about to issue a warrant for Grundy’s arrest because he has failed to pay £2 million from the divorce settlement Jeni was awarded by a British court in May 2012. However, it is a pyrrhic victory for Jeni. As she points out, it will only apply if he returns to Britain.
She says that while she struggles to make ends meet, her ex-husband defiantly continues to live the high life – with an apartment on Dubai’s exclusive Palm Island, luxury holidays and sports cars. Her story highlights the extreme lengths some men will go to avoid giving their former spouses a fair divorce settlement.
Like so many men before him, Grundy does not believe his ex-wife deserves a half-share of the successful business they had built together. ‘She sat at home on her a**e for five years,’ he says dismissively. ‘The whole thing would fall apart if I was not here.’
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