Dubai Resident's Case:Death's Impact onUK Divorce Settlement
The UK's highest court, the Supreme Court, has dismissed Nafisa Hasan's financial claim against her late ex-husband Mahmud Ul Hasan's estate in a divorce dispute that has sparked discussions on legal reform. Due to Mr Ul Hasan's demise.
UK Supreme Court Rejects Financial Claim in Landmark Divorce Dispute
the court concluded that Ms Hasan's proceedings cannot proceed further, highlighting a legal "defect" that may necessitate intervention from the country's parliament, as stated in Justice Lord Leggat's written ruling.
Financial Claim Denied as Dubai Resident Passes Away: UK Supreme Court Ruling
Married in 1981 and divorced in Pakistan in 2012, Ms Hasan pursued "financial relief" in London's Family Division of the High Court, alleging that Mr Ul Hasan's disclosed wealth of £7 million ($8.9 million) fell short of the actual scale of his assets. Court proceedings faced delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and tragically, Mr Ul Hasan passed away in Dubai in January 2021, just weeks before a scheduled hearing , Adding complexity to the case, Ms Hasan herself passed away in May 2022, shortly after being granted leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. In October 2022, five high court justices initially ruled against Ms Hasan's claim, prompting further scrutiny of the case.
Serious Legal Implications Emerge
Byron James, a partner at Expatriate Law, an Abu Dhabi-based law firm representing the claimants, expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling that renders claims void upon death, deeming it "unfair and unjust." Mr James emphasized the issue at hand, questioning the power of the English court to hear divorce cases when one partner has passed away , Citing an example involving an individual with significant wealth who developed dementia during proceedings, Mr James emphasized the injustice that arises when a court decision is pending and the individual in question passes away. In such cases, the surviving party is left without entitlement to any assets, a predicament that is not mirrored in Western countries. This grave concern prompts the need for parliamentary intervention and raises broader questions regarding property rights upon marriage and the impact of a court decision on those rights, especially if one party dies before a ruling is made.
Seeking Solutions and Preventive Measures
Mr James highlighted potential measures to avoid such predicaments. Joint ownership of assets, life insurance policies, and provisions in wills can help protect parties involved and ensure equitable distribution of assets. Taking proactive steps can alleviate the uncertainties and injustices that may arise in these circumstances , Representing the respondents pro bono, Mr James reiterated their commitment to offering assistance in this case, driven by a belief in the need to support the respondent.