Published: 2 September 2015
A Judge from the Family Division of the High Court in London has dismissed an estranged ex-wife's claim for a share of her ex-husbands classic car collection, worth over £20 million.
Businessman Clive Joy- Morancho (56) won the legal battle against ex-wife Nichola Joy (48) for a share in his 35 cars, which includes a 1928 Bentley, a McLaren F1 and a Ferrari worth over £5 million.
The couple, married for 5 years before their relationship broke down, lived in both the South of France and the Caribbean Island of Bequia during their marriage before Ms Joy filed for divorce after accusing her husband of domestic violence.
Judge Sir Peter Singer, who published his verdict on 28th August 2015, said that the couple had an 'extreme' disagreement over the settlement following the breakdown of their marriage and that Ms Joy requested that a share of his car collection should be transferred to her, however, Mr Joy-Morancho said that the cars were owned by a trust he was involved with.
Ms Joy has requested a lump sum payout of £27 million from a £54 million fortune, which Mr Joy-Morancho claimed would have left him in 'financial ruin', so he argued that his ex-wife should receive only a 'nominal' maintenance fee.
The Judge said that an order was made in 2014 which would restrain My Joy-Morancho from "disposing of or dealing with" his 1928 Bentley which he had purchased in 2009 for an estimated £400,000. However, the judge indicated that the Bentley wasn't part of the car collection that Ms Joy had made a claim for a share of, and that it was personally owned by Mr Joy-Morancho.
The case became more complicated by the fact that his ex-wife's claim were for a variety of assets which were governed by several foreign jurisdictions due to their location, which were ultimately proved to have not belonged to her husband, but to a trust he was part of before their marriage.
Mr Joy-Morancho's lawyer issued a statement saying, "I believe this to be a unique decision in British family law. I do not know of any other case to date where a wife who was claiming many millions of pounds was given nothing because the husband has been able to show that he does not have any assets available to him despite the tens of millions being attributed to him."
"I am extremely pleased with the main thrust of the judgement which demonstrates that it is possible to refute what now seems to have become the presumption in high-net-worth family cases that a husband who claims that certain assets do not belong to him and are not available to him and the court for division, must be making a false presentation."
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