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Valuable Diamond is Crux of Assets Dispute in Court

The division of matrimonial assets is often the cause of protracted legal proceedings, where parties differ on what is due to whom. In a recent Family Court case, the question of whether or not a £2 million diamond formed part of such assets was the cause of conflict.

After a couple separated, a consent order was entered into which provided that equity in the matrimonial home – the sole matrimonial asset – was to be transferred to the husband. The wife’s assets, which she retained, came from inheritance.

The husband later applied to have that order set aside, alleging that the wife, prior to signing the order before the Court, failed to disclose ownership of a valuable diamond and thus procured the husband’s agreement to, and the Court’s approval of, the order through material non-disclosure or fraud.

He further asserted that figures had been changed in a schedule of assets that had been shared with the Court, so that it differed from the original forms that each party had previously filed, but that he had not been consulted on or informed of the changes.

On cross-examination, the wife denied possession of the diamond or anything to do with it. The husband, however, maintained that he had received a tip-off that the wife was selling a diamond, and was unfailing in his belief that the diamond belonged to the wife and that she had benefited from it or from the net proceeds of its sale.

After examining an additional witness and the circumstantial evidence, the Court found that there was no direct or indirect evidence to support the husband’s allegations in respect of the diamond. It could identify no evidence whatsoever in support of his contention that the diamond or its proceeds belonged to the wife.

Furthermore, in relation to the issue surrounding the schedule of assets and the forms related to the consent order, the Court found that any discrepancy was minor and inconsequential, and that no unfairness had been caused to the husband. The husband’s application to have the consent order set aside was dismissed.

Published
14 March 2024
Last Updated
13 April 2024