A woman who was refused a divorce from her millionaire husband is taking her fight to the Supreme Court. Tini Owens 66, is arguing that she should not have to prove “unreasonable” behaviour to end her 37-year marriage to Hugh Owens, 78, which broke down after she had an affair several years ago. Judge Robin Tolson QC refused her petition last year, ruling that her husband’s constant berating about her infidelity was to be “expected in a marriage”.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 9   The Sun, Page: 7

Posted 15/08/2017

 

Lawyers are warning that a new “DIY” divorce form which includes a dedicated section for a petitioner to name the person their partner committed adultery with could lead to many more people receiving documents telling them they have been accused of adultery. Laura Guillon, an associate at Hall Brown, said: “The idea is to try and make the process more user-friendly, because the court is inundated with people representing themselves. Without the benefit of advice, we could get more people naming co-respondents, because they don’t understand that they don’t have to.”

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 1   The Sun, Page: 15

Posted 11/08/2017

A woman has won a landmark appeal to be entitled to a bigger payout from her husband’s pension after their divorce. Lawyers say the Supreme Court ruling could overhaul the way pensions are divided between a divorcing couple. Annie McDonald argued that, although her ex-husband had only paid into the pension for a few months after they wed, she was entitled to a share of the entire pot as it was “matrimonial property”. The ruling now means instead of a pot £10,000 she will receive a share of £130,000.

The Herald, Page: 9

Posted 28/07/2017

 

 

The Guardian’s Owen Bowcott interviews John Walker, who last week won an 11-year legal fight to ensure his male partner will be entitled to a spouse’s pension. In a unanimous decision, five Supreme Court justices declared that EU equal employment rights trumped English exceptionalism. However, Brexit has cast doubt over the outcome of any future cases. Emma Norton of Liberty warns: “John’s victory came under EU law and we still have no formal commitment from the government that this and the many other equalities we’ve gained from our membership will be protected in UK law after withdrawal”.

The Guardian

Posted 18/07/2017

 

A report by Gingerbread, the charity for single-parent families, has detailed some of the ploys used by wealthy fathers who have separated from their wives to hide their assets to avoid paying more towards their children’s upbringing. Tricks include “front” companies, paying their new partner a salary from their business, assigning a shareholding to other family members or giving themselves benefits in kind or large pension contributions.

The Times, Page: 13

Posted 26/06/2017

Abusive or neglectful parents who attempt to escape prosecution for child cruelty by blaming each other will face tougher punishments in future. The aggravating factor has been included in proposed guidelines published by the Sentencing Council today. Analysis of court transcripts found shirking responsibility to avoid prosecution is a common tactic.

The Times, Page: 14   The Sun, Page: 21

Posted 13/06/2017

 

A High Court judge says he will ban domestic abusers from cross-examining their victims in his court, Mr Justice Hayden made the pledge in a judgment that described how a mother suffered at the hands of a violent husband who had threatened to kill her. “For my part, I am simply not prepared to hear a case in this way again. I cannot regard it as consistent with my judicial oath and my responsibility to ensure fairness between the parties,” said Mr Justice Hayden.

The Guardian

Posted 03/06/2017

 

Family lawyers say a steep increase in the number of divorcing couples representing themselves in court is causing a backlog of cases. Lyn Ayrton, from Lake Legal, said: “Following the removal of legal aid in most types of family law cases four years ago, self-representation has steadily increased in child related and financial cases, leading to many divorce courts grinding to a halt as a result.” However, a pilot online divorce service has seen favourable results, HM Courts and Tribunals Service has said, with judges and lawyers predicting advances in digital divorces will increase calls for the scrapping of fault-based grounds for divorce. Separately, the Mail details how separated parents are using children’s passports as bargaining chips often resulting in judges ordering former spouses to surrender their child’s travel documents. Cara Nuttall, a solicitor with JMW, said there was a sharp rise in such cases before Easter and she is expecting more ahead of half term and the summer holidays.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 9   The Sun, Page: 15   Daily Mail, Page: 15

Posted 22/05/2017

 

A man who won a £101m Euromillions jackpot does not have to “cough up” financial support for his son “whenever asked”, a court has ruled. Former factory worker Dave Dawes, 53, from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire, and his wife Angela, 49, won the money in 2011. Central London County Court heard Mr Dawes’ son Michael, 32, was given £1.6m, but funds stopped after a row. He was seeking a ruling that his father and stepmother must financially support him for the rest of their lives. Judge Nigel Gerald said Michael “was provided with the funds to have a comfortable life” but instead behaved like a “profligate son” who expected his father to bail him out.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 11   The Times, Page: 19   Daily Mail, Page: 5   Daily Express, Page: 3   Evening Standard, Page: 5    The Guardian, Page: 15

Posted 19/05/2017