Divorce – Child welfare is key
A recent Court of Appeal ruling should serve as a reminder to parents that a child's welfare is first consideration and that the court retains discretion when making financial awards.
Tracy Cross, partner and family mediator at Band Hatton Button, has commented on a Court of Appeal decision which ordered hospital consultant Essam Aly to hand over 100 per cent of his fortune to his former wife.
Essam Aly, who works as an anaesthetist, left his wife Enas Aly in 2011 and moved to Bahrain. He has failed to pay any child support since 2012.
After it was feared that he would never again support his ex-wife and their two children, family court judge Mark Rodgers made a ruling that the entire £500,000 family assets should go to his ex-wife.
Tracy said: "It is an unusual outcome but serves as reminder to parents that the distribution of wealth during divorce remains a highly discretionary area.
"In this case, the judge found it necessary to make such an order as Essam Aly was based in Bahrain and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Child Support Agency.
"The court takes the welfare of children very seriously and the judge will use his or her discretion to do what is fair and reasonable in all circumstances."