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Wigan Family Law Blog

Court finds woman not guilty of assaulting husband

The divorce battle between a wealthy businessman and his wife escalated after he accused her of assaulting him in his home. People in the Manchester area who have experienced an acrimonious divorce may understand the emotion and tensions that could lead to such a situation. The court heard testimony from both parties regarding the events on the day of the alleged assault, but with no independent witnesses, the charge of assault was dismissed.

The man's wife, aged 47, said that in December 2015 she had visited her husband at his home in order to talk about their divorce. She said that she was on her knees pleading with him when he leaned over her and began shouting and taunting her with his wealth. She told the court that he was a bully and in response to his behaviour she pushed him in the chest, knocking him over and that his injuries were a result of the fall.

Insecure retirement for over-50s divorcing couples

Research has shown that the majority of couples who divorced when they were over 50 years of age are financially worse off and may still not be secure when they retire. The information contained in the survey conducted by Nationwide Mortgages may be of interest to older couples in the Greater Manchester area who are considering a separation. It showed that 58 per cent of those questioned said that they were worse off, with only 18 per cent of men and 13 per cent of women saying that they were in a better financial situation after the divorce.

More than half of the couples were married for 20 years or more at the time of their divorce, and Nationwide Building Society said that it was important for people to take advice even before starting the divorce process. More than a quarter of the couples sold the marital home in their divorce and 6 per cent ended up splitting family heirlooms. Another 10 per cent shared the proceeds from selling a car and over 20 per cent said that they had divided up the furniture.

Tweets shine spotlight on domestic abuse

The statistics for domestic abuse in the U.K. are damning. Women in the Greater Manchester area may be aware that two women are killed every week as a result of abuse by a partner and that it impacts 25 per cent of women during their lifetime. Domestic abuse is not limited to causing physical harm to a partner but can present itself in other ways, and although in most instances the abusers are male, it should be noted that women can also be perpetrators of domestic abuse and men can also be the victims.

When she was speaking about the various forms of domestic abuse, the chief executive of Women's Aid described it as a form of power and control over a victim. Abusive relationships are not limited to physical intimidation or injury but can also be verbal, forcing domination using emotional or psychological oppression, and it can also take the form of sexual or financial coercion. These types of behaviours can be precursors to a pattern of physical attacks that may emerge over time.

Wife to divorce Ryan Giggs

The wife of the former Manchester United player Ryan Giggs has been reported to be divorcing her husband after accusations that he has been flirting with female staff at the restaurant he owns in the Greater Manchester area. The footballer has been involved in a number of highly publicised affairs in the past and is faced with losing a significant part of his fortune in a divorce settlement. Even though the couple have been separated for several months, they are still currently both living in their property in Worsley.

Giggs was given the role of assistant manager of Manchester United in May 2014 and was acting as the interim manager for the club before that. His salary at the club is in the region of £3 million per year and in addition to the family home, which is valued at £6 million, and the George's restaurant that he owns, he is also a director in over a dozen companies bringing his net worth to an estimated £40 million. The divorce settlement could be one of largest payouts for a sportsman ever in British history.

Colin Montgomerie's second divorce may cost him £5 million

The golfer and television commentator Colin Montgomerie is facing a £5 million divorce settlement payout after his wife accused him of cheating on her with a number of women during their eight-year marriage. Golf enthusiasts in the Greater Manchester area may remember that the sportsman was a Ryder Cup captain, but more recently he has been in the media after news that he started divorce proceedings against his second wife.

The 52-year-old golfer's previous marriage ended in 2004 after his first wife is thought to have demanded that he put their relationship before his career. He married his present wife in 2008 and until recently they lived in a house valued at £2.5 million in Perthshire. She has four children of her own from her first marriage and in 2003 received an inheritance of £20 million when her former husband passed away. She is now thought to be seeking the family home and £5 million as part of the divorce settlement.

Unfair settlement challenge rejected by court

The former spouse of a noted barrister has had her plea for a new divorce settlement turned down in Appeal Court in London. She received £72,500 in a settlement in the Australian courts and is now living on benefits while her ex-husband is living in the £1.6 million property in west London that the couple once shared. Couples in the Greater Manchester area going through a divorce may wish to note that one of the judges hearing the case said that the current increased need of the ex-wife was not a valid reason to put aside the original settlement.

The couple were married for less than three years before divorcing in 2009 and have a daughter who is now aged eight. He is a successful employment law barrister who became a QC in 2014 and has remarried. The terms of the divorce settlement saw him pay maintenance to his ex-wife until 2012 and ongoing annual child support payments of almost £10,000. His former spouse was born in Australia and had returned there at the time the couple separated.

Divorce settlement rescinded after ex forgets to sign papers

The former spouse of a millionaire businessman was granted a rescission of her divorce settlement after a judge in New York heard that the documents had never been signed by her ex-husband, a former London commodities tycoon. Residents of Greater Manchester may be surprised to learn that the terms of the cancelled agreement would have benefited him had he signed the document as he is now bound by a previous agreement that requires him to pay $61 million within four years.

The agreement that was rescinded by a New York City judge would have seen him pay his ex-wife $5 million annually for 12 years. Instead, she will now receive $11 million immediately and a further $50 million over four years. In addition, she has been awarded a $30 million penthouse apartment in Park Avenue and, according to her ex-husband, is in line for a $90 million pay out when he dies. She is also owner of the Lady Sheila Stable with a number of successful racehorses which have been valued at $120 million.

Billionaires implicated in hiding assets from spouses

A high-profile document leak involving Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca showed that the company played a major role in helping numerous individuals to prevent their spouses from obtaining divorce assets they might have been entitled to. In one email, the firm's staff even made light of its intentions to help a man hide his assets before he went through a formal divorce. Manchester's married population may be interested to know that in addition to well-known British property developer Scot Young, the firm's clientele included individuals in Russia, Thailand, Ecuador and the Netherlands.

Observers say that firms like Mossack Fonseca commonly help their clients hide assets in offshore tax havens. The emails showed that in addition to transferring properties like real estate holdings to shell companies, billionaires moved possessions like artwork and furniture out of their shared homes when they believed their marriages were headed towards divorce. One of the shell companies involved in this obfuscation was no more than a post box, but its assets included paintings by famous artists and palatial household furnishings.

Equality of divorce settlements

In a move that may affect fathers in the Greater Manchester area, Ministers are being urged to put in place measures to encourage men to spend time taking care of their children. MPs are also keen to see more being done to prevent the discrimination at work of women who are pregnant or have young children. But a legal decision by the House of Lords in 2000 that aimed to provide better financial security for women has resulted in some women voluntarily reducing their working hours and choosing to stay at home to care for their children.

A study by the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills revealed that most women felt that mothers of new born children should be given a minimum of nine months maternity leave and over 25 per cent felt that raising children should take the place of a working career. In addition, a 2014 Education Department survey showed that most working mothers would reduce their hours if their financial situation allowed it and more than 30 per cent would stop working entirely.

"The Archers" raises awareness of domestic abuse

The long running radio series "The Archers" has been credited with increasing widespread recognition of domestic abuse in the U.K. Listeners of the Radio 4 drama in the Greater Manchester area will have been aware of the storyline that includes the character Helen Archer being subjected to domestic violence by her husband. Speaking for the charity Women's Aid, the organisation's chief executive said that the plot of the radio show accurately reflected many instances of real life situations and had the power to change public opinion.

The introduction of a new law means that emotional and psychological abuse are criminal offences even if physical violence has not been a factor. The plot in "The Archers" shows how the female character has been isolated from her social circles and had her spirit and personality eroded by her husband. The nature of the abusive relationship portrayed in the programme mirrors authentic occurrences, according to Women's Aid, and in many instances the woman is not even aware that the abuse is taking place.