A court has increased the assets awarded to a wife in a divorce because the husband failed to fully declare his assets.
The case of A v A concerned a couple of Chinese origin, originally from Hong Kong. They had been married for 21 years and had one adult son when the marriage came to an end. The wife launched ‘financial remedy’ proceedings (an application for a financial settlement after a divorce).
The husband a declared a half share in the couple’s home, his takeaway business and an annual income of only £12,000 after tax. He then failed to take part in subsequent proceeding s. The wife believed he had returned to Hong Kong after selling his takeaway business to another party. She presented evidence from the Hong Kong Land Registry that her husband had recently transferred three properties there worth £829,800 and also produced a list of assets worth more than £1.6 million.
The court drew “adverse inferences” from the husband’s failure to fully declare his assets and the fact that he did not participate the legal hearings. The wife was therefore awarded additional assets on top of the usual 50:50 split. She was granted £902,811, or 53.5 per cent of the marital assets as well as pension payments.