The former wife of a multi-millionairess property developer is battling for a larger share of her dead partner’s estate after claiming she hid millions of pounds during their divorce.
Carol Ann Ainscow, 55, who passed away in 2013, ended her civil partnership with Helen Roocroft in 2009 after they had spent 18 years together.
Ms Roocroft claims that the tycoon, once reported in The Times Rich List as being worth in excess of £30m, was hiding the true value of her wealth when they split up.
Unable to claim legal aid and having to represent herself at times during the original proceedings she now believes she was misled into accepting a settlement of £162,000.
Ros Bever, the lawyer representing Ms Roocroft’s appeal, said: “It seems that all too often partners, whether in marriage or civil partnerships, are trying to get out of their obligations by being deliberately obstructive or dishonest about their wealth”
“The courts have shown they will not tolerate people trying to hide their wealth in business or refusing to pay their settlements in maintenance.”
The court of appeal has heard how business accounts for the property firm which Miss Ainscow was the sole shareholder of held funds of £5.5 million in the year ending 2010.
At the time Miss Ainscow said that she was worth just £750,000 because she had been hit hard by the recession.
If the appeal is successful Ms Roocroft will receive money from Miss Ainscow’s elderly mother and it would make history as the first case to do so.
The case has already made legal history as the first lesbian ‘divorce’ case to reach the court of appeal.
The dissolution case continues.