Court Orders Millionaire Banker to Pay Outstanding Divorce Benefits

UK Updates

Banker who claims he cannot pay his divorce payments after recently making at least $ 1 million a year has been ordered by an English court to pay the “large sums” he owes his ex-wife .

The appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Yan Assoun had not paid the money owed to his ex-wife because she upheld a so-called “Hadkinson order” against him. The court order effectively prevents Mr Assoun from bringing new cases to English courts until he has paid the undisclosed “large sums” to his ex-wife.

The Hadkinson order was first pronounced against Mr. Assoun in November 2015. He had wanted to ask the courts for a reduction in his support payments.

Yan Assoun, who worked for BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse, married his ex-wife, Anais, in London. The couple reportedly separated in 2007 and the two moved to different parts of the United States in 2009. However, their divorce settlement was decided by the English courts and has since been followed by a lengthy legal dispute in the United Kingdom. .

In 2013, a judge estimated Mr. Assoun’s annual income to be at least $ 1 million and ordered him to pay his wife $ 380,000 a year, nearly three times the $ 132,000 he had paid. he was paying before.

Mr. Assoun appealed the decision.

At a subsequent hearing later in 2013, Mr. Assoun represented himself, telling the court he could not afford a lawyer. At the time, he said living in a $ 3.3 million New York apartment “doesn’t mean I’m rich.”

In his last resort, Mr. Assoun’s lawyers told the appeals court that he could not afford to pay his ex-wife. However, Ms Assoun’s lawyer argued that Mr Assoun’s behavior was “relentless litigation behavior” designed to drain his ex-wife “financially and emotionally”.

In his decision on Tuesday, Sir Ernest Ryder of the Court of Appeal said the previous judge identified several “unexplained” issues, including why Mr Assoun’s former company was able to pay him just under a million dollars in 2014 but was no longer able to pay it in 2015.

The balance of the proceeds from the sale of the Manhattan apartment also remained in dispute.

Sir Ernest said on Tuesday that the Hadkinson order was properly imposed in 2015 and money owed should be paid.

Mr Assoun was “the author of his own misfortune” and he “outrageously deliberated on court orders,” Sir Ernest said, adding: “The husband was found to be in willful default, for failing to fulfill his obligation to provide full and frank disclosure, and for using all possible tactical means to frustrate the wife and the English courts.

The judge also noted that Mr. Assoun made payments to his wife totaling $ 324,000, but said he subsequently “adopted what can only be described as highly questionable tactics to avoid enforcement in the United States, “including hiring private investigators who track family and friends. of his ex-wife.

The Hadkinson Orders, which are named after a 1952 court case, are rarely used and are often considered draconian, as they effectively stop a litigant’s right to bring any further litigation to court until after they comply with existing court orders.

Brett Frankle, partner of the Withers Family Law team, said: “It sends the message that people cannot take justice on their own and stop paying child support even if they want to go back to front. the courts to argue that their alimony payments should be cut down.

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