A leading banker fears he will be forced to give up his glamorous New York lifestyle and £2million home because of a disastrous divorce battle with his fashionista ex-wife.
Former City trader Yan Assoun, 44, was described by a judge as having spending power “beyond the wildest dreams” of his fashion writer ex, Anais Assoun, 45.
But now, in a bitter break-up, the banker insists he cannot ‘survive’ in his New York lifestyle after his ex-wife was given an “unfair financial advantage” over him by a divorce judge’s ruling.
In a drastic reversal in fortunes, Mr Assoun, who owns a luxury Manhattan apartment and founded a company which recently turned over £5million, is now left with only a fifth of his income.
In a previous hearing he had complained: “I own an apartment worth $3.3million – it doesn’t mean I’m rich.”
Mr Assoun and his ex-wife had met and married in London while he worked in the City for BNP Paribas and Credit Suisse. They raised their two children in the capital before splitting in 2007 and departing for different parts of the US in 2009.
In a divorce court hearing last year, Judge Glenn Brasse had ruled that the “reasonable needs” of Mrs Assoun and the former couple’s children amounted to almost $500,000 (£295,000) a year.
The judge had earlier said of the banker: “[His] spending ability is not within the wife’s reach, not within her wildest dreams.”
But Mr Assoun is now claiming at the Appeal Court that he will be effectively exiled from New York by Judge Brasse’s order, as he cannot afford the cost of maintaining his lifestyle there.
Lady Justice Arden heard that Mr Assoun, majority shareholder in a banking business that turned over $8million in 2012, had already handed his ex $1.5million in assets and legal costs, prior to last year’s hearing.
Mrs Assoun, a “well educated” woman who owns a ranch in Texas, earns $65,000 a year herself, Judge Brasse found.
Her ex-husband had insisted at an earlier hearing that he was “bust”. But he was found to be reaping a yearly income of more than £400,000 by Judge Brasse, who went on to order him to pay the lion’s share of that to his ex-wife and children.
He is now asking for permission to appeal the judge’s order, which he says left him with less than £90,000 a year to live on, after tax. That is a sum on which it will be “very difficult to survive” in New York, he said.
Lady Justice Arden said she would decide whether to grant him permission to appeal after considering Mrs Assoun’s reply.
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