23 September 2013
Family Law Solicitor debates whether Courts favour women in Divorce cases
Family Law Solicitor Georgina Chase states that The Times has recently reported that the property developer, whose wife allegedly left him for the footballer Cesc Fabregas, has accused the Matrimonial Courts of favouring “badly behaved” wives following financial proceedings upon Divorce.
He allegedly said the Courts in our country are not interested if you are right or wrong and are just trying to protect women, even the badly behaved ones.
Elie Taktouk, who had two Children with Daniella Semaan during their 12 year marriage, was furious when the Court allowed the former Arsenal player to purchase Mr Taktouk’s former matrimonial home in London as he claimed the price was £2 million less than its true value.
Miss Semaan separated from her husband in 2011, reportedly months after she was seen on holiday with the Barcelona player. She had a baby with Fabregas in April.
The High Court had ordered the sale of the couple’s apartment in Belgravia to provide £1.4 million for his ex-wife to buy a home. Miss Semaan had sole conduct of the sale and she accepted the offer of £5.5 million from Fabregas. Mr Taktouk reportedly tried to prevent the sale saying that he had prospective purchasers willing to pay £7.5 million. In July, The Court of Appeal rejected Mr Taktouk’s application to block the sale; something he thought was a gross injustice.
During the financial proceedings, it has been reported that Miss Semaan claimed that Fabregas, 26, was not as wealthy as the public perceive him to be and that she needed to sell their marital home so they could divide their assets to pay her living expenses. Mr Taktouk’s Counsel had previously told the Court that Mr Fabregas was clearly a resource of far greater significance than the wife had put forward in her evidence and it is understandable that Mr Taktouk indicated he objected to providing funds for his ex-wife to buy a home when she had started a new life with a man who earns £5 million a year.
The Appeal Court Judge Mr Justice Floyd had indicated that if the sale goes through to Mr Fabregas, there would be a real possibility that the children would remain in the apartment, their home, a powerful factor in favour of allowing the sale to go ahead.
The principles governing the exercise of the Court’s discretion in deciding a fair financial settlement upon Divorce are contained within Section 25 of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Section 25 requires the Court to have regard to all the circumstances of the individual case and to exercise the discretion of the Court to do justice between the parties. The first consideration of the Court must be given to the welfare of children and it would therefore appear that it is for this reason that the Appeal Court (using the wide discretion available to judges in this area of the law) ordered in favour of the sale of the marital home, in order to ensure that the children had the stability of remaining in their home if at all possible following the Divorce.