A divorce dispute which began as long ago as 2001 has been described as “scandalous” and one that “beggars belief” by a High Court judge.
The case concerned a wealthy commercial pilot who had divorced his third wife in 2001. Proceedings are still continuing, making the dispute one of the longest in British legal history. The couple had been together ten years. At the time of their separation, his then wife was pregnant with a daughter who is now almost 18 years old. The pilot was declared her father in 2000.
But despite paying hundreds of thousands in child maintenance, the man claims he is not the girl’s father and that the wife was having an affair at the time the couple split. His signature on the child’s birth certificate was forged he insists, and a DNA test indicating that he is her father based on a swapped sample. His ex-wife strenuously denies these claims.
The pilot has been warned that huge legal bills could push him into bankruptcy if he continues his courtroom battle, The Telegraph reports.
At the Court of Appeal in London this week, Lady Justice King “reluctantly” granted him permission to appeal a previous ruling the he comply with the terms of an earlier financial settlement, which was obtained, he alleges, by dishonesty.
The Judge noted:
“The husband is now on his fourth wife and he has children from that marriage too. He is now using his pension fund to fight his third wife after 15 years.”
She told the man:
“You’ve had 15 years to settle [this case]… I cannot help thinking how far the money spent on this case would go toward’s the daughter’s university fees.”