Divorced husband’s sister in contempt of court over his business
A divorced husband’s sister has been held in contempt of court for failing to provide business records to his former wife.
The dispute arose because following divorce proceedings, the husband was ordered to transfer to the wife his 100% shareholding in a property management company. However, he didn’t provide the necessary information to enable the wife to run the business and he refused to comply with court orders obliging him to do so.
He was committed for contempt of court for failing to comply with an undertaking given in a financial order and for breaches of the enforcement orders.
The husband's sister had also been involved in running the company. The wife submitted that she had committed the same breaches as the husband in failing to comply with enforcement orders.
The sister contended that the court could not rule that she was to blame for the non-compliance as it was due to the husband’s control over her as the senior person in the company.
The court ruled in favour of the wife. It held that the allegations against the sister were proved to the same extent as they had been proved against the husband. She knew precisely what she was doing and what the orders required her to do.
She had accepted that she and the company could produce the information and had simply chosen not to provide it. She had never produced any evidence to say that she could not produce the information and, although the husband might have exercised control over the corporate structure, she had the power and right to provide information relating to the company.
If you would like more information or advice about the issues raised in this article, or any aspect of family law please contact our expert legal team on 0208 004 0065, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or using the form below.
Case Citations:  EWHC 2894 (Fam)KAREN JAYNE HART v (1) JOHN RALPH HART (2) BRONDESBURY LTD (3) SUSAN BYRNE (4) HALESOWEN ESTATES LTD (2018)Fam Div (Judge Wildblood QC)