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A woman’s divorce settlement has been increased after her oil magnate ex-husband was found to be a bigamist who hid the full extent of his wealth from her.
In what is thought to be the first case of its kind, Yvonne Gibney discovered that her former husband, Maurice James Gibney, had remarried before the couple were divorced.
The couple were married for 17 years and had a son together. The wife issued divorce proceedings in 2013, when she discovered on social media that her husband had married another woman in Oman, despite his denials in court.
She filed a police report and her former husband was found guilty of bigamy. He was given a two year suspended sentence by the courts in October 2014.
His former wife then returned to the courts to seek a fairer divorce settlement on the basis that he had deliberately misled the courts as to his finances.
A family court in Liverpool has now ruled that that her ex-husband falsified documents at the original divorce proceedings to hide the extent of his wealth and his new marriage. Yvonne Gibney was awarded the marital home and her legal fees are now to be covered by her ex-husband.
Her lawyer, Lara Tucker, a family law specialist at the national law firm Irwin Mitchell, said that in previous cases the courts had “sent a message that dishonesty will not be tolerated.” She added: “Yvonne’s case was about securing a fair deal and happily, we were able to secure this.
“There was evidence that Yvonne’s ex-husband was earning far more than he disclosed in the original proceedings and doctored his bank statements to hide the reality of his assets and his new life from Yvonne. Because of this Yvonne’s divorce settlement was built on several lies.”
Mr Gibney is believed to be in South Korea.