Website Navigation Menu

Wigan Family Law Blog

UK High Court criticises behaviour of council in custody case

A judge in the High Court has criticised Kent County Council for how they handled the custody case of a child involved in an international divorce dispute. The child was born and raised in Latvia until his parents divorced when he was four-years-old. After the separation, the mother relocated to the United Kingdom with the boy. The boy was taken from his mother's care after he had been seen with bruising to his face and was subsequently placed in temporary foster care.

The judge expressed concern because the council had not followed the orders of the original Family Court judge who asked officials to notify the child's father, who still lived in Latvia, of the proceedings. She said that the council did not notify the man until five months after the child had been in foster care and that their behaviour in this matters relating to children had brought about 'enormous concern".

Judges rule on maintenance dispute

Appeal judges considering the income of a man who attempted to avoid any responsibility for his daughter recently made a ruling regarding the former couple's maintenance agreement. The court ruled that the man's salary and bonus, collectively exceeding £100,000, were 'relatively moderate", stating that his almost £200,000 in savings and investments did not constitute limitless resources.

Reports say that the couple had a brief office romance that resulted in the birth of the child in question. She is now 10 years old. The man has had no contact with his child and, despite a CSA assessment and a 2004 court order, made no maintenance contribution to her upkeep for the first seven years. He had been out of the mother's reach and was living in Geneva with his wife and three other children.

Woman seeks settlement from husband

A six year battle that included a six month prison sentence for contempt of court is still unresolved as a 51-year-old property tycoon has still not paid his estranged wife an agreed settlement. The man was ordered to make a £20 million payment, as well as £6 million in costs, after a court rejected his claim that he was bankrupt.

During the divorce proceedings the man refused to comply with a request to provide financial information and received a custodial sentence for this 'flagrant and deliberate" contempt of court. He continues to insist that he has enormous debts and was bankrupted due to a failed property deal, but his estranged wife told the court that his wealth was in the billions. She was originally seeking a £300 million settlement and described the £26 million award as disgraceful.

New law introduced to combat domestic abuse

Those in Greater Manchester are likely concerned about the growing problem of domestic abuse. Wales and England have introduced a new scheme that allows individuals to receive police information about a partner's history of domestic abuse should they be concerned about his or her behaviour. The law, called the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, has been implemented in order to protect people from unwittingly becoming involved with someone who might subject them to domestic violence.

The scheme is also called Clare's Law, naming a woman who was killed by her ex-partner. The family problems turned deadly in 2009 when the 36-year-old mother-of-one was attacked and murdered by her former boyfriend who later committed suicide before being apprehended. Unbeknownst to her, he had a history of violence against women who he found through social media sites, which later lead to him being dubbed the "Facebook Killer." After breaking off the relationship, the woman had contacted the police on a number of occasions, reporting harassment, attempted rape, criminal damage and death threats by the man. A review after her death found that the woman had been subject to "individual and systematic" failures by the authorities.

Rugby player's wife sentenced after domestic violence incidents

The wife of a former professional rugby player was sentenced after attacking her husband on a number of occasions. The court heard that the family problems started after the 23-year-old woman had doubts about his faithfulness.

The first assault occurred in March 2013 when she reportedly lunged at him with a knife following an argument, causing an injury to his shoulder, but he did not report the incident to the police at that time. The second incident occurred nearly two weeks later after she discovered her husband with someone else. The court heard that, on this occasion, she struck her husband in the face while he was carrying one of their children, and he later reported both incidents to the authorities.

Singer states regret at lack of pre-nup

A classically trained singer and model who divorced her husband told a TV show that her main regret in life was not getting a pre-nup. The 35-year-old celebrity and her bodyguard husband had been a couple for over a decade before marrying in 2011, but the relationship came to an end in April 2012, and the divorce was granted in 2013.

The mother-of-two told the audience of the ITV show that her husband ended their marriage without any explanation. The couple were joint directors of the company, formed in 2011 and named after their daughters, that was created to deal with her £11 million earnings. Showing holdings of over £1 million, the celebrity's husband was removed as director in the winter of 2013 before the company was closed. The singer is now sole director of a new company, which, along with the sale of the marital home, has finalised the separation of the couple's finances.

Tycoon threatens to disinherit daughter over divorce

The father of an heiress who is in the process of divorcing her husband has threatened to cut her off if she makes any payout to her estranged spouse. The woman, daughter of a multi-millionaire media director, has been told by her father that making any sort of divorce settlement will lead to her being disinherited.

The couple, who have three children whose school fees are covered by the tycoon, signed a pre-nuptial agreement when they married in 2005. The court was told that they had an extravagant lifestyle that included lavish holidays, recreational drug use, live-in child care and a £6.6 million marital home in the same area as former Prime Minister Tony Blair. The marriage broke down in 2012 due to arguments about money, with the husband seeking a £2.2 million share of the family townhouse. He told the court that he was penniless, living like a tramp and that his father-in-law's threats were inspired by spite and malice, claiming that it was a continued attempt to control his daughter.

Aristocrat receives jail sentence for domestic abuse

A member of one of Britain's most aristocratic families has received a two-year custodial sentence after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm to his wife of over a span of 22 years. The court heard that the family problems were caused by the man's addictions to drink and drugs. The victim initially refused to cooperate with the investigation, but eventually, in her victim impact statement, she said that she had suffered injury to her self-esteem and confidence and that she had suffered psychological and emotional damage.

The police were notified of the situation when the wife sought hospital treatment after being punched in the stomach. She feared that she had suffered a broken rib. During her examination, doctors also discovered bruising to her eye and nose and called the police. Her husband, when interviewed, stated that he knew that he should not do what he had done and said that he was worried that he could one day go further.

Dispute arises in high-asset divorce

An investment banker and her stay-at-home husband have become involved in a divorce after an argument that occurred on New Year's Eve. The couple, who have been married for 15 years, separated in 2012, and the dispute concerns an £11 million sum to which the husband believes he is entitled. The 56-year-old man has made statements claiming that he previously sacrificed his career as a banker for his wife and to care for their children.

The couple has amassed a considerable fortune, including homes in Malaysia and Singapore, a £1 million collection of wines, and a mortgage-free Kensington residence worth £4.5 million. The High Court, in March 2013, found that the husband, as a habitual resident of London for at least 12 months before filing, was entitled to end the marriage in the U.K. However, the QC for the 54-year-old woman argues that the divorce should not be allowed to proceed because the husband's home is in Hong Kong, and rival divorce proceedings have been filed in Malaysia.

Divorcing wife fights to secure fair inheritance for daughters

The 63-year-old wife of a property and engineering magnate has won a preliminary round in her fight to secure a fair inheritance for her daughters. The High Court has ruled that her 72-year-old estranged husband's controlling shares in his £50 million company must be should be included in the asset division of their divorce. The woman said that the man would otherwise favour their son financially.

The judge ruled that, although the couple's son had a vital role in rescuing and rebuilding the company after a 2002 crisis, there had been no categorical agreement that the shares were to be held in trust for him alone. The judge said that this lack of arrangement was primarily for tax purposes and that the shares were, therefore, an asset to be divided in the divorce. The judge also said that it was lamentable that the ruling would not end the matter, noting that the squabble was causing the entire family to suffer and that it would be best for all involved to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.