A divorcing wife has won the right to have a share of a property in India owned by her husband, even though he claimed he was not in a position to sell it.
The case involved a couple who had been married for 30 years and wanted a clean break when they divorced. They both had only modest incomes and the main issue was how to meet their separate needs for a home.
The court heard that the husband had a house in India. The judge valued this property at £400,000. He ordered that it should be sold and that half the money should go to the wife. That would make equal provision for both their housing needs.
The husband appealed saying that the judge was wrong to find that he was the head of his family and so able to able to sell the property in India. He also disputed that it was worth £400,000.
The Court of Appeal ruled that the house could be included in the divorce settlement. It held that the husband had been evasive in his answers to the court yet there was ample evidence that as the eldest son, he was the head of the family and able to sell the property.
However, the court also ruled that the judge had been wrong to value the property at £400,000 as there was no evidence on which to base such a figure. The matter was therefore remitted so that the property could be independently valued.
Please contact us if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.