BRITAIN: Sixty year old race-horse breeder John Livock and his thirty-eight year old trophy wife Lucy are duking it out in England. Lucy won a ruling that John is to pay her 600,000 pounds in lump as a divorce settlement for their 3 year marriage. John is an entrepreneur and lover of horses and he used to be rather loaded. However, he now claims to be flat broke and can ne’er afford to pay Lucy a dime due to bad business deals during the recession that ate up all his equity. The London Evening Standard (is that a reputable publication?) basically ran the story a couple of weeks back about how John has hired Martin Pointer QC to help him see to it that Lucy gets nothing in this divorce. They are appealing the ruling of the lower court. Says the Evening Standard:
“The pot is empty.”Mr Livock’s property empire, the Willowbrite group, was once valued at more than £8million, and one of his racehorses was worth £2.5million. But Mrs Livock’s lawyers said the businessman should not be allowed to get out of paying the full amount because he had “wasted” up to £3.4million on his passion for racehorses.
Mr Pointer said: “In the early part of the parties’ relationship, Mr Livock’s property enterprises generated good gains and income; and so provided the parties with a high standard of living.
“He was able to engage in his sporting activities, including race horses, and they spent time at his villa in Portugal. The recession and, in particular, the rapid decline in the value of commercial property has hit Mr Livock hard. The value of his business interests has plummeted. It seems that Mrs Livock has found this commercial reality difficult to accept.”
Mr Pointer said the original divorce settlement over-estimated the true value of various commercial properties held by Mr Livock and failed to take into account debts of more than £2million. He said: “It is not the law that a wife is entitled to share in the profits or gains that are achieved by her husband, but not suffer the losses.”
Lord Justice Thorpe granted Mr Livock permission to appeal.
He should have probably gotten a prenup. But the problem is, prenups are not recognized in the English courts by and large. Where is Baroness Deech when you need her?
Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vegaseddie/3310046320/