06 December 2007
Woman has divorce settlement success
A woman has won what has been described as a landmark case to prevent a divorce settlement being used to pay off her ex-husband's debts.
Wendy Haines had been forced to give up the proceeds of the sale of the marital home awarded to her in a divorce court when her husband went bankrupt. In a ruling this week, however, she has won them back.
At the Court of Appeal, which hears all appeals in leading cases in civil and family justice, Lord Justice Rix stated that it would be "unfortunate in the extreme" if a settlement approved in a divorce court could be undone for up to five years as a result of the husband going bankrupt.
He stated: "That could even encourage such bankruptcy on the part of a disaffected husband."
Mrs and Mr Haines had been married for 12 years, separating in 2003. Mr Haines declared himself bankrupt in 2005.