Racehorse Trainer Pays for Divorce from Beyond the Grave

The financial consequences of divorce can continue even beyond the grave. In one striking illustration of the point, a racehorse trainer’s ex-wife was awarded an additional six-figure sum from his estate four years after his death.

The former couple had run up more than £500,000 in legal costs during acrimonious divorce proceedings following their four-year marriage. Their assets were valued at around £3.2 million. However, the husband, who had a history of wholesale tax evasion, owed about £2 million to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The wife was ultimately awarded £756,000 by a family judge and the husband died about two years after the end of the proceedings. However, HMRC subsequently agreed a settlement with the husband’s estate and accepted £850,000 in satisfaction of the capital gains and corporation tax demands that he had faced.

In those circumstances, the wife reopened the divorce proceedings and was awarded an additional £108,000 by a judge from her husband’s estate. In upholding her challenge to that ruling, the Court of Appeal found that she was entitled to an uplift of £212,467. The decision raised her total divorce payout to £968,467.