Industrial Scale Fraud in Divorce Proceedings

I read an interesting and unusual article this week about 180 divorce petitions being dismissed in what has been called 'industrial scale' fraud.

It was only after an eagle eyed member of court staff noticed that two divorce petitions involving Italian parties gave the same address as their place of residence.  After a bit of detective work it transpired that this address was just a post office box and no one could actually reside there and yet 180 divorce petitions across the country had gave this address as their place of residence in England and thus they claimed habitual residence in this country enabling them to divorce here rather than in Italy. All the divorces were orchestrated by one person who charged quite hefty fees to deal with the proceedings.

It seems that the motive in claiming habitual residence in this country rather than divorce in Italy is because the divorce process is much slower in Italy than in England.

All the divorce petitions have been dismissed and where decree nisis or decree absolutes have been pronounced these decrees have been set aside.    No doubt this will leave the affected parties in an interesting situation if they have since remarried.

One of the questions is now how to prevent this fraud and one suggestion is to reduce the number of courts that deal with divorce proceedings and just have a few dedicated divorce court centres.

It would seem that some people will go to great lengths to divorce in England where London is often referred to as the divorce capital of the world rather than petition for divorce in their own home country.

If you would like advice regarding divorce proceedings please contact Amanda Weaver on 01788 555042 or amandaweaver@newleafsolicitors.co.uk