Wife ‘shouldn’t have to rely on her father’ after divorce
Published: 30 November 2017
The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision that left a wife dependent on her father for financial support following her divorce from her wealthy husband.
Hayat Alireza and
husband Hossam Radwan divorced in 2013 after 14 years of marriage.
Mr Radwan had assets
of £17m and earned £350,000 a year. Ms Alireza had no assets or career and had
stayed at home during the marriage to look after the couple’s 3 children.
She was a British
citizen but her father was a Saudi businessman with an estimated fortune of
£500m. Under Saudi law, Ms Alireza would inherit 20% of his estate,
approximately £100m, when he died. However, until that time she had no means of
The judge at the
original hearing awarded her £2m on the basis that she had a wealthy father who
could help to support her. She could continue living in the marital home with
her children but would have to move out when her father died or if she
She argued that the
decision robbed her of her independence and she should not have to rely on her
father for support, regardless of his wealth.
The Court of Appeal
ruled in her favour. Lady Justice Gloster said: “The judge had made an
order which denied this wife any recognition in the form of a capital
settlement to reflect her contribution to the marriage.”
She said that under English law, a father has no duty to
support his daughter. She pointed out that the husband enjoyed “complete autonomy”
and had remarried and started a new family.
“The wife, however, living in a property owned by her
husband and his family, continues to be tied to her former husband.
“That has an inevitable impact on her life, including on any
The case was sent back to the High Court to decide how much
extra Ms Alireza should receive. She is
Claire Rutter in our Family Team if you would like more information about the
issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.