Appeal Court judge sends warning on divorce tourism

By Lenore Rice

An appeal court judge has expressed her frustration at 'divorce tourism', saying that the UK courts are "not here to provide a top up for every foreign divorce".

Lady Justice Black and the Appeal Court were hearing the case of a millionaire QC, Jason Galbraith-Marten, and his ex-wife, Catherine De Renee, who had reached a divorce settlement in Australia. The couple were married a short time but had a child together. in the 2009 settlement Ms De Renee received £72,500 of the marital assets and around £45,000 in maintenance, but this provision came to an end in 2012. She now says that they are "in a predicament of real need", surviving on benefits and living in rented accommodation.

Ms De Rennee's barrister said that his client was "under very great pressure" when she accepted the divorce settlement in Australia, but the judge said "there was nothing to show that the settlement was unfair", adding that "this court is not here to provide a top up for every foreign divorce." She said that the agreement cannot be re-opened simply because the wife "has more need now".

If you require legal advice from a divorce solicitor in Northern Ireland contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast or Bangor by calling 0800 840 1363.