She made his life a misery but still wanted part of his estate – which case won?
They met in 1984, when he was a doctor and she was his patient. They had a daughter in 1986 and married in 1988, but the marriage lasted only 19 months.
Separation, divorce, property settlement and appeal
The couple officially divorced in 1995 and the Family Court made orders awarding the former wife $164,000, which equated to about 38% of the asset pool of the parties.
She appealed this decision, but the appeal was dismissed. She then phoned her former husband and threatened to “destroy his life” and “make his life a misery” if he did not pay her an additional sum.
Ex-wife proceeds to carry out threats
She carried out her threats in a campaign of what the court described as “relentless hostility” and “relentless persecution” of her ex-husband, taking professional disciplinary action against him, applying for reviews of child support, initiating legal action against him for damages and refusing to allow him to see his daughter.
In addition, she complained to police and sought an apprehended violence order against her ex-husband. Those proceedings were dismissed. The ex-wife also alleged that her husband had sexually abused their daughter. The husband was interviewed by police at that time and no further action was taken.
Man dies intestate
In 2014 he died intestate, that is, without a valid will. He had only been married once and their daughter was his only child. While the man had instructed his lawyers to draw up a will, he had never executed it.
The draft will set out his reasons for not leaving anything to his ex-wife, among them that she made “many and false allegations against me which were proved groundless and made a false complaint against me to the police alleging that I had sexually abused my daughter and these allegations have caused me great distress”.
Former spouse makes claim on late ex-husband’s estate 25 years after separation
Under the laws of intestacy, the deceased’s daughter was entitled to the whole of his estate, which was worth approximately $5 million. The daughter was estranged from her mother when her father died and her mother demanded that part of the estate be distributed to her. She claimed she required funds to purchase a property to live in and for future medical costs. At the time of trial she was unemployed and relied upon a disability support pension.