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Divorce row puts million-pound estate in jeopardy

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Manchester couples undergoing separations may be interested in a divorce case that observers say is one of the most protracted in the nation's history. According to reports, an airline pilot who is currently married to his fourth wife is embroiled in a battle with his third spouse. At the heart of the disagreement lie the man's allegations that he's spent around two decades making support payments for his ex-wife's daughter. He believes the 18-year-old isn't his child even though the mother claims to possess DNA evidence to the contrary. 

If news sources are accurate this case could result in court costs that deplete the pilot's fortune. The man argued that his ex-wife fraudulently switched the DNA samples and even denies that the signature on the daughter's birth certificate is actually his. 

The representative of the ex-wife notes that the man has resisted paying since as early as 2001. The justice who granted the pilot's appeal expressed her reluctance to do so yet admitted that there was some justification for it. There's also some dispute over how many former spouses the man actually had, and he claims that he wasn't served with the original court papers in a manner that complied with international law. 

Separations and divorces don't always proceed as smoothly as planned. In some cases, ex-spouses or parents may still resist court orders years after the fact or suddenly cease paying support. High-net worth divorces can also result in disputes that come with significant court fees or jeopardise non-monetary assets, such as real estate and pensions. It may be easier to devise an initial agreement that both parties are likely to adhere to if couples talk to family law solicitors prior to finalising their divorces.