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03 NOV 2005

FINANCIAL PROVISION: R v R (Financial Provision: Confiscation and Restraint Orders)

(Family Division; Bennett J; 3 November 2005) [2006] FLR (forthcoming)

The husband was convicted in Holland of drug offences, and all his assets made the subject of confiscation and restraint orders. Following the divorce, the wife applied for financial provision.

Although the judge made a finding of fact that the wife was fully aware of the husband's substantial criminal activity, and was heavily involved, he awarded the wife a lump sum, designed to house her and the young child of the family, which drew in part upon the assets acknowledged to be tainted by the crime. The judge made a finding that there were hidden assets from which the husband could pay the confiscation order, but considered the possibility that the husband might be unable to pay the confiscation order as a result of the award to the wife and concluded that that risk was outweighed by the possibility of serious deprivation to the wife and child if a sum were awarded which was insufficient to house them. The public interest did not demand that the wrongdoing of the husband be visited upon the wife to such an extent that might imperil the welfare of the child.

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