Monday, May 29, 2006

Divorced men in the U.K: RUN! FLEE! HIDE!

UK: Future headline in 2050; Marriage rate at 1%.

A landmark House of Lords ruling last week could open the way for hundreds of divorced women to go back to court for more money, according to leading lawyers. The principle laid down by the law lords that women who gave up a well-paid career to raise children were entitled to compensation for their sacrifice has come too late for partners who divorced with a clean break. But those still receiving maintenance from high-earning former husbands could go back to court to ask for a big increase, lawyers said, even if their divorce was years ago. Experts in the field are only now realising that the judgment, which came when the lords ruled in the cases of Melissa Miller and Julia McFarlane, could potentially be applied retrospectively. Many hundreds of women with existing maintenance orders will try for "massively increased payments", said Jeremy Levison, the solicitor who acted for Mrs McFarlane's ex-husband, Kenneth, a £750,000 a year accountant. "I'm already seeing women this week about this very topic," he said. "I'm being consulted by two classes of people: men who are worried and are asking are they going to have to pay their wives a lot more, and women who are asking does this mean we're going to be receiving much increased payments? One will have to do a careful analysis of the law but ... one would have thought that the answer ... must be yes."

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