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Wife in divorce case granted search order against her son

Posted: 10th February 2021   In: Family Law

A wife in a divorce case has been granted a search order against her son following allegations that he had helped his father put matrimonial assets out of her reach.

The wife said her son had assisted the husband in dishonest schemes that were intended to prevent her from obtaining the financial settlement awarded by the court. She had obtained a worldwide freezing order and ancillary disclosure orders against the son in July 2020.

An order was made requiring him to deliver up and provide access to his electronic devices and cloud storage accounts for forensic examination.

He alleged that all his devices were lost in transit when he was seeking to comply with the order. He failed to provide access to his cloud accounts. 

The High Court granted the search order. It said it was satisfied that there was an extremely strong prima facie case against the son and that the damage was very serious for the wife.

There was clear evidence that he had incriminating documents in his possession and there was a real possibility that he might destroy it before the wife could access it.

The son had failed to disclose a single contemporaneous document since 2016. His continuing failure to disclose relevant documents was likely to cause serious damage to the wife in prejudicing her ability to pursue the proceedings and obtain her award.

Protections were put in place to ensure that the search would minimise any health risk caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to minimise any upset to the son’s former partner and young daughter.

Please contact Shelley  Rolfe if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of family law.

Wife in divorce case granted search order against her son
[2020] EWHC 3005 (Fam)
Fam Div (Knowles J) 28/10/2020


Posted by: Shelley Rolfe
Luton Office