Bloke whose wife divorced him for working too much claims human rights violated

A divorced dad claims his human rights were breached when his wife ended their marriage because he worked too much and missed holidays.

IT consultant Charles Ayeh-Kumi is locked in a legal challenge with the Government at the High Court over divorce laws.

The 64-year-old from Farnborough, Hants, argued on Friday for changes to "easy" divorce laws and compensation for his own divorce, but the Government hit back saying his claims are "totally without merit".

Ayeh-Kumi's wife of 33 years, Marion cited "unreasonable behaviour" in their 2018 divorce case which he says is too vague.

He also wants to push for a repeal of "no fault" divorce legislation which is due to come into effect in Autumn, which he says will make separation even easier.

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The IT consultant, who has no legal training, claims the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 breaches the Rule of Law, the Humans Right Act as well as the European Convention for Human Rights.

He wants it changed so that "unreasonable behaviour" is defined in law, and so that couples are given the ability to make a joint divorce application, rather than one party serving it against another.

Daniel Cashman, for the government, said: "The claim arises from the divorce from his now ex-wife at her petition in 2017 and the claimant defended the divorce petition at a full oral hearing and it was granted under unreasonable behaviour.

"The claimant has exhausted all of his appeal rights against that decision.

"The claimant seeks £50,000 in damages and eleven declarations."

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He outlined his arguments that stated Mr Ayeh-Kumi had expended his time limit to launch a case, the idea the marriage law contravenes the European Convention for Human Rights is "fanciful" and there are constitutional limitations to which the court can make declarations.

"This isn't a deprivation of liberty case, and to the extent it's the claim against the judiciary, judicial immunity would prevent that claim from being brought."

The government has said in Autumn 2021 that no-fault divorce will come into law, which will allow couples to avoid the usual "blame" grounds of adultery, unreasonable behaviour and irretrievable breakdown. Adultery cannot be used as a reason in divorce for same-sex couples.

Mr Ayeh-Kumi said: "I totally disagree with no fault divorce. There should be reasons, not the vagaries of the Matrimonial Causes Act which people have driven a coach and horses through for the past 40 years.

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"Everybody has castigated it.

"The government's response was to put out a consultation process. What do we get? The government enacts no fault divorce.

"Fault should be retained but it should be clearly defined.

"It should also be an opportunity for the couples in an agreement that their marriage is over should be allowed to dissolve it quietly.

"For those couples who can sit down and resolve their differences, and say we both believe this is not working, that we should separate and move on with our lives – the law should not be an impediment in that matter."

Master Victoria McCloud, sitting on the Queen's Bench, said she would deliver a written judgement at a later date.

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