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England’s Largest Divorce Settlement

10 January 2022

Dawn Hughes

Money

The decision in the Dubai Princess Haya divorce case is said to be the highest divorce settlement in England with her being awarded £554 million.

The husband, the ruler of Dubai and vice president and prime minister of the UAE was reputed to be worth more than 3 billion pounds. The wife, Princess Haya is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan. The parties were married on 10th April 2004 and there are 2 children of the marriage who are now aged 14 and 10. Princess Haya lives in London with the children. The parties separated and he divorced his wife in February 2019.

Given the wealth in this case it was inevitable that this was going to be a record-breaking settlement.

After lengthy court proceedings, a lump sum payment was awarded to Princess Haya of more than £250 million as well as provision for the personal security for the family, education, a nurse, nanny, other staff, ponies and pets. This is said to have met her ongoing lifelong needs that the Judge found to exist in circumstances where the funds existed to do so. In addition to the lump sum payment, Child maintenance was awarded at in excess of £11 million per annum.

The UK Court can effectively force the sale of the Sheikh’s UK assets in order to enforce such a Judgement but forcing the sale of assets in the Gulf or in countries like Russia would be much harder.

Given that the husband has considerable assets in the UK including racehorses and properties it is difficult for him to avoid paying the large part of the settlement to Princess Haya. However, the Court still felt it necessary to put in place a Bank guarantee to avoid any risk of non-payment.

It is reported that the Sheikh deliberately used his connections with the press to generate hostile stories aimed at destabilising Princess Haya. He also published poems which were considered threatening towards his wife, placing her in a position of great fear.

This is said to be the highest matrimonial sum awarded yet with the previous highest being £453 million.

Although most cases do not involve such significant wealth, it is always important to seek advice from a Solicitor when dealing with financial matters, however small. Please call the family team at Taylor Bracewell on 01302 341 414.