Fraud and millionaire divorces

In the opinion article by João Caiado Guerreiro in the newspaper A Bola: "The "Direito ao Golo" belongs to mothers who do everything for their children, but also to people who do not shirk their responsibilities".
News 22/05/2023

PSG player Hakimi and his wife, Hiba Abouk, have ended their marriage. The Moroccan athlete says he has nothing to pay to the mother of his two children because he has no assets. Believing the information disclosed, the defender transferred his assets and bank accounts to his mother’s name. In other words, wages directly to the mother, assets in the mother’s name, nothing from Hakimi, nothing to share with Hiba. The couple has two minor children; I remind you again.

Meanwhile, in the divorce proceedings, Hakimi has put forward a proposal where he is willing to pay two million euros. But, according to the media, Hiba did not agree because she considers she is married under a regime similar to the Portuguese one, of the communion of acquired and therefore owns half of the couple’s assets: she wants 10 million!

This “maternal” protection scheme may help a little in negotiations, but it is useless if the money and assets are in developed countries. Moreover, it is relatively easy to prove that this is a fraud on the law, intended to defraud the spouse and avoid having half of the joint assets. As such, Hiba started a process against Hakimi for fraud and mismanagement of the couple’s help to obtain her half of the assets.

If this were in Portugal, the player would likely have to divide the assets with Hiba. It will not be difficult to prove that it is not Hakimi’s mother who plays for PSG and that the money comes from her son’s work. But the player in his subsequent marriage – or any other sportsman – could avoid this problem if he marries under a regime of separation of property. Article 1698 of the Civil Code is clear: “The spouses may freely determine (…) the matrimonial property regime (…)”. And the Civil Code leaves several options: the regime of community of acquisitions, presumably that of Hakimi and Hiba, and the regime of separation of property, among others. A word of advice, dear reader, if you are getting married, choose the regime provided for in Article 1735 of the Civil Code: “If the property regime (…) adopted by the spouses is that of separation, each of them retains the dominion and fruition of their property, present and future, being able to dispose of them freely.”

Why? What belongs to each one is theirs, and if they want, they can always make donations to each other or even buy a house together, for example. They don’t keep half of what the other earns or what the other already has. People love each other, not the property of each other, right?

The question gets more complicated if the sportsperson goes abroad. Here, we get into the crucial issues of “forum shopping”, i.e. searching for the country with the most favourable legal regime for each spouse. Indeed, changing the place of residence can change the law governing divorce. For example, England helps to give and receive significant damages, while France is more conservative. Anyway, the applicable law may depend on one’s place and time.

The “Direito ao Golo” is for mothers who do everything for their children and those who do not shirk their responsibilities. That’s offside.


The content of this information does not constitute any specific legal advice; the latter can only be given when faced with a specific case. Please contact us for any further clarification or information deemed necessary in what concerns the application of the law.

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  • Sports Law