The wife of a wealthy doctor lost her £3.2 million home after attempting to settle her divorce by agreement, the High Court has heard.
Former nurse Norma Wilson married Ministry of Defence anaesthetist Dr Peter Wilson in 1989 and they went on to have two children together. The couple set up home in prosperous Sunningdale, near Ascot in Berkshire, and made considerable sums developing property in London.
The marriage eventually came to an end in 2006 but the couple were “still on speaking terms”, the Telegraph reports. They decided to redevelop the £3.2 million property in which they lived, creating a suite of luxury flats to maximise the funds to be divided in their divorce.
Norma Wilson reached an agreement with her estranged husband in which she would obtain financing to buy his share of the house and carry out the redevelopment work. Once this was complete she would pay him an additional £1 million.
However, this voluntary divorce settlement was not approved by the Judge when it reached court and her estranged husband subsequently placed a restriction on development of the property according to the paper. As a result Ms Wilson could not get any further financing to carry out the redevelopment work and as a result was forced to sell the property at a significant loss. After paying off loans and her mortgage she had no money left and now lives in a council flat, claiming benefits.
She told the court:
“I had to go on income support and apply for accommodation. It was hell breaking loose upon me. I was in a desperate situation. I had to remove a lot of things, burn a lot of things, take things to the skip, because it was a five-bedroom house and I was going to a one-bedroom flat.”
The new owner of the Berkshire property has since begun a development project similar to the one she had planned, the Telegraph reports.
The couple had agreed a voluntary divorce settlement in order to save costs, she added. Ms Wilson claimed that her solicitors had not properly advised her. They denied this but the two sides subsequently reached a confidential settlement.