Court allows husband to challenge divorce ruling

By Lenore Rice

An Appeal Court has given a husband a chance to try to rescue his marriage by granting his appeal against a divorce decree nisi that was issued by a County Court.

The man received a divorce petition on Christmas 2012, and the wife filed for and was granted a decree nisi from Reading County Court in May 2013 because the petition was not contested. The legal representative for the husband said that he had replied to the petition and it was posted on 12th December 2012. The County Court has no record of receiving the correspondence. It is said that the husband always intended to contend the divorce.

The wife says she wanted to separate because her husband had "extravagant spending habits" and he always involved in some schemes that ending up losing him money. She contends that the then sold their home and transferred most of the sale proceeds into an account in his sole name without ever advising her.

Lady Justice Black of the Appeal Court said the "whole context" of the husband's financial dealings would have to be looked at in order to judge if he had been irresponsible with money, but believed that the husband wanted to remain married. The matter will go back to the County Court at a contested hearing, and a computer expert will be enlisted to ascertain whether the husband really had written and sent his communication that he would be contesting the divorce on the day he claims.

If you require legal advice in respect of filing or challenging a divorce petition, or any other matter related to a separation, contact one of the divorce solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Northern Ireland by calling 0800 840 1363.