An Indian-origin banker Amit Goyal in the United Kingdom has been ordered to pay alimony to his ex-wife from his pension funds, which he had transferred out of India, in a high court ruling that has been described as a “landmark.”
Justice Mostyn said in his ruling last month that “there were powerful reasons for making a supplementary periodical payments order in the favour of the wife.
The Goyal vs Goyal case in the Family Division involves a long-running divorce battle between Amit 39-year-old and his ex-wife Ankita Goyal 35-year-old and also strikes a blow at attempts by divorcing spouses trying to conceal their assets overseas.
Under the order, Ankita will receive new periodical payments of around 5,200 pounds every year, which is 100 pounds per week.
Judge added that it was a very small sum of objectively, but will be a meaningful sum for her as she will attempt to rebuild her life and support their child. The order will end, if she remarries, which she hopes to do.
According to the Britain law a pension may be divided between divorcing spouses by means of a pension sharing order pursuant to the Matrimonial Causes under the Act 1973.
But a previous judgment court appeal in the case ruled that pension sharing pursuant to Section 24B did not apply to foreign pensions.
Amit appealed in the court that it was not possible for the court to make a pension sharing order in respect of overseas pension. While his ex-wife Ankita failed to show that the pension sharing order would be enforceable in India.
However, the latest court ruling decided that it was open to order the UK-based husband to make payments from the annuity to the wife as maintenance payments.
Zaiwalla & Co Solicitors represented Ankita on a pro bono basis said that it was a landmark judgment in a long running financial remedy case which relates to a foreign pension which the husband had transferred out of the UK to India.
Amit claimed that he had transferred his pension annuity to a friend in India to satisfy a debt. But the court disbelieved his claim and concluded the story was a barefaced lie.
Amit and Ankita were married in 2004 before separating in 2011; they have a 9-year-old daughter. Previously a judge ordered Amit to hand over his remaining assets to his ex-wife Ankita.
However, they have been locked in legal battles for years now, something the judge in the latest ruling expressed his regret about.