Case could see end of easy living for ex-partners

John Halewood Dodd.
John Halewood Dodd.

When dealing with criminal matters there is often a crossover into other areas of the law.

One example is matrimonial law, where the breakdown of a relationship can, on occasions, be so acrimonious that it leads to police involvement.

As such, every court has a specific domestic violence sitting. In Lancaster this takes place each Wednesday afternoon, and often the court is one of the busiest of the week.

It is difficult to deal with the breakdown of a relationship, many of which have been long-standing, but to also face criminal charges is, for some, almost unbearable.

In opposite sex relationships it is more often than not the male who is accused of committing an offence.

Often, it is the breakdown of the relationship that leads them to act in a totally uncharacteristic fashion.

Whatever the reason for the breakup many defendants feel frustrated as they perceive that the law favours the female.

I in no way condone domestic violence, but do understand this point of view.

The police almost always impose bail conditions which prevent contact between the parties. This often hampers any prospect of resolving the other issues that follow a relationship ending.

It may well be that a case decided in the family court this week may go some way to redressing this perceived imbalance.

In this case the former wife had initially been awarded a substantial amount including maintenance, which the husband argued he could no longer afford.

The wife had not taken up work but argued that she should continue to be supported by her former husband.

In deciding that this was not acceptable the court ordered that the maintenance payments cease and suggested that “it was imperative that the wife finds work.”

Many divorce lawyers suggest that this case will have a dramatic impact on future cases.

It has further been suggested that this could see the end of easy living for ex-partners of wealthy spouses.