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Divorce options if older husband is awkward

Divorce options if older husband is awkward might have been made difficult in the past week by the Court of Appeal applying the law and denigrating the practice of nodding through undefended divorce giving a petitioner false hope that if defended it is easy to get a divorce but according to Cheshire divorce solicitors Stonehewer Moss the law is asexual and awkward older husbands just need to be handled correctly. Owens v Owens 2017 was not so much a thumbs up to cussed old men insisting their younger wife stay with them to the bitter end, it was a massive misunderstanding of the appeal procedure. The case did not have legs because the judge appealed against applied the law correctly; the perception from practice that divorce is easy and everyone does it themselves now caused a blindness to the fact it was practice not law and appeals are only granted if wrong in law.

Family solicitor at Stonehewer Moss, Michael Brennan, has always clung to a mantra that “I do not do appeals” throughout his 26 years in the field and is happy to advise on the law but less content to take large sums to let appeal courts tell you that you lost in bleak terms. It is the nature of a court that one side loses, though District Judges in divorce courts usually take the view they have done their job on finance settlements if both people walk away from a final hearing unhappy. Divorce itself is different, you have to prove your old husband behaved in  a way no sensible person would expect you to live with; an experienced solicitor should be able to guide you to this end. Not all divorces are behaviour based but they are those most likely to be defended. Divorce options if older husband is awkward are perhaps summed up as, first, try to agree but if he is awkward make secure, second, you can prove your case and third, reflect on whether you need a divorce as you can never be made to live with someone against your will and remain a widow for pension purposes and inheritance rights if still married. Challenging wills by an estranged widow after death is an option to fighting in court  about a dead marriage while the sun shines outside. If you have to take the second option, use an experienced solicitor.

The cost of legal work can be too much but today you can choose a pay as you go option if you just want advice and assistance while you deal with it yourself. It is called unbundled services by solicitors as their duty to you is more limited than usual for a solicitors instruction and therefore cheaper. Essentially, you record the advice by the best means for you and do it yourself afterwards, paying the solicitor at the meeting for his or her advise and experienced judgment of your situation.

For truly awkward spouses, that is one who is ignoring everything the court in a finance settlement case asks him or her to do, a recent appeal report may offer some light to his long suffering spouse. The court can make what is called Hadkinson orders. This severe option is taken by the court on application by the other party to refuse to hear from a part to the case who is in contempt. The court just hears from you and part of the armoury of the judge is inference that a party hiding something hides whatever the judge reasonably thinks he or she may have. See Assoun v Assoun (No 2) 2017 and enjoy the word contumacious in particular. Divorce options if older husband is awkward includes carrying on regardless. The law does not have a gender agenda.

For advice in meeting if you want to pay as you go or full service in family law cases please call 01606 872200 e mail visit


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Stonehewer Moss Solicitors, Citadel House, Solvay Road, Northwich, Cheshire, CW8 4DP

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