A businessman worth £34,000,000 says he cannot afford to pay his former wife more than £200,000, a court has heard.
The man, who is based in Oman, has though given his solicitors nearly £100,000 fighting the case, the High Court was told.
Now a divorce court judge has ruled he must match ‘pound for pound’ and give the same amount he pays his lawyers to his former wife’s legal team.
The man, who is based in Oman, told Mr Justice Holman that his assets were ‘illiquid and unrealisable’ and said he ‘simply’ had not been able to pay his ex-wife.
But the man had found the ‘means’ to pay ‘no less than £95,000’ to a ‘prestigious’ law firm which was representing him, the judge heard.
Mr Justice Holman has now made him the subject of a ‘pound for pound’ order. The judge has ruled that the man must not give money to his solicitors unless his ex-wife’s solicitors get the same.
Detail of the case has emerged in a ruling by the judge following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.
He said the pair were fighting over money. The man had either agreed, or been ordered, to pay alimony pending a ruling on how much his ex-wife should walk away with.
He was supposed to make payments to fund day-to-day living for his ex-wife and children and to cover lawyers’ bills she was running up during the legal battle.
Mr Justice Holman said the man owed his ex-wife more than £200,000. ‘The husband says in his statement that he cannot make these payments,’ said the judge in his ruling.
‘He says that the family company upon which his own personal wealth is founded has recently suffered a considerable reverse as a result of the well-publicised collapse in this country of the public company Carillion plc.
‘He says, therefore, in summary that he simply has not been able to make any of these payments to, or for, his wife and children.’
But the judge added: ‘He has found the money, or the means to pay, no less than £95,000 to his own solicitors.’
He said the ‘facts and circumstances’ of the case required such a move.