A man who said the law makes it too easy to get a divorce has had his legal challenge rejected by the High Court.
Charles Ayeh-Kumi was divorced against his will three years ago. His wife cited ‘unreasonable behaviour’ claiming he “worked too much and never went on holiday” two decades previously.
The self-employed technology consultant argued that his ex-wife Marion had breached his human rights by relying on these grounds, and said because ‘unreasonable behaviour’ is not sufficiently well defined, it made separation too easy.
During divorce proceedings, Marion argued her husband “was absent in the evenings and at weekends”, and “did not come on any family holidays when the children were growing up or come to any concert performances that the children took part in.”
But Mr Ayeh-Kumi said that he felt his actions had been a necessity.
“I am a one-man band. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I admit that I missed a few family holidays, and that I made myself available to clients 24/7.
“That is how I differentiate myself from the bigger companies that do what I do, and how I secure myself more clients. We were struggling to pay our mortgage at the time. I needed to keep a roof over my wife and daughters’ heads.”
The father of two told the High Court that by not defining ‘unreasonable behaviour’ properly, the Matrimonial Causes Act contravened the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human Rights.
Government lawyers applied to the Court to dismiss his human rights claim, and the judge, Master Victoria McCloud, backed them, ruling that Mr Ayeh-Kumi’s ex-wife was legally permitted to use those arguments to divorce him.
The Christian Institute’s Ciarán Kelly commented: “Given all we know about the harm caused by divorce, we should be doing all we can to help families stay together. But it is already shockingly easy to end a marriage, and the implementation of no-fault divorce law will bring yet more trauma to UK families”.