The Daily Mail today features a story about a successful "Deal or No Deal" contestant who set about spending his winnings before his wife could claim a share.
According to the article, Mr Brown had separated from his wife shortly before he appeared on the TV show. He did not inform her that he had won £50,000 and hoped to use the delay before the show was aired to spend his winnings before his wife became aware and sought a share.
In the weeks following his win he successfully worked his way through the majority of the cash by paying off debts and buying various items. His wife then reportedly sought a Freezing Order from the court to stop him from using the money, but was too late.
The paper reports that the matter was considered by the Court in Doncaster last week, but that no decision will be made until Mr Brown has filed evidence on exactly what has happened to the cash.
Disposing of assets is a common tactic in divorce cases, but one which almost always backfires. The courts will usually take an extremely dim view of such actions and penalise the individual in costs orders, and/or by awarding their spouse the majority of what is left, though as always, it very much depends on the facts of the case.
Freezing Orders can be a useful tool in preventing such behaviour, but as this case demonstrates, time is of the essence.
Anyone concerned that their spouse may try to hide or dispose of financial assets in divorce or separation is always advised to seek expert legal advice as soon as possible, as once the money has gone; there is often little that can be done.
Family & Divorce Solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free initial 30 minute consultation. Call freephone 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we'll call you.
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