Woman in Northern Ireland fooled into signing divorce documents

An unnamed woman in Northern Ireland who claimed she had been fooled into unknowingly signing divorce documents has won her legal fight for a fair share of £600,000 in assets.

Describing the case as “unprecedented”, Master Charles Redpath of the High Court in Belfast ruled that the woman should receive 50 per cent of the value of the former marital home, which includes 60 acre grounds, along with 30 per cent of her former husband’s other assets. The latter include cash and another property.

He is now also facing a legal bill of as much as much as £250,000, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The man had claimed that the former couple had only been in a relationship for a brief period, and had then gotten back together after 18 years.

He reportedly misled his wife into signing divorce documents, which also included a settlement under which she would have received almost nothing. The man then used the fraudulent documents to obtain a divorce at Ballymena County Court.

The woman said she had only discovered the divorce when told of it by another woman the man was seeing.

Master Redpath said: “The late Charles Haughey, formerly Taoiseach, when describing an unusual set of circumstances, coined the acronym GUBU; standing for grotesque, unbelievable, bizarre and unprecedented. That acronym could apply to this particular case.”

Photo of the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast by Ardfern via Wikipedia under a Creative Commons licence

Marilyn Stowe

The senior partner at Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers with clients throughout the country, in Europe, the Far East and the USA.

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3 comments

Robert Ringland - March 6, 2013 at 6:24pm

Interesting comments by Redpath – how reputable a man was Charles Haughey?

John Kenneally - January 31, 2014 at 8:35pm

Just a useless Master of the Court of Judicature. Charles Haughey? right…say no more…
When I had the non-privilege of being summoned to his chamber – over 10 Years Ago, he was literally drunk with his red face cheeks to prove same and a smell of alcohol with in the chamber….

Andrew - February 1, 2014 at 2:21pm

Interesting thought: if he had disposed of the assets and disappeared into the ether the buyers would have a good title and she would be out in the cold!

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