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Woman prevented from pursuing lawsuit against ex-husband

A woman who tried to pursue thousands of pounds from her ex-husband through the divorce courts has been banned from bringing further claims against him.

In a landmark ruling in the High Court, Vivien Welch was told by a judge that she cannot sue her ex-husband Denis Welch for another two years, after embarking on an “obsessive and unjustified” legal battle against him. 

Mrs Welch had brought repeated claims against her former husband in the hope of securing a huge pay-out and had tried tirelessly to secure evidence against him by tracking his emails and hiring a private investigator to expose his earnings, the court was told.

Whilst giving evidence, the court heard that Mrs Welch moved in with her husband Denis in 2007, after meeting him on an online dating website. 

It is claimed that during the course of their marriage her husband spent around £500,000 on helping his wife pursue a divorce claim against her first husband. 

However, when the Welch’s separated in 2013, a district judge ordered the businessman to pay his wife £1,000 a month in maintenance and buy the couple’s house so that she would have somewhere to live.

Mrs Welch appealed the decision, arguing that her husband had hidden his assets. A judge sitting in Portsmouth described her appearance before him as “vengeful, obsessive, irrational, and unjustified” during a review of the case.

He upheld the original court’s decision, finding that there was no reason to believe that the Singapore-based businessman had been dishonest about his assets or financial situation. 

Mrs Welch then took the case to the High Court’s Family Division for review, where the judge concurred that she had effectively become a “professional litigant”.

Rejecting her appeal, Mr Justice Holman said: “Frankly, this bitter and intense litigation must be closed to the maximum extent possible. It is quite extraordinarily destructive. It is phenomenally expensive.”

Justice Holman also took the decision to ban Mrs Welch from pursuing the case against her ex-husband for a further two years, after hearing that her previous solicitors were still chasing their debts; albeit a reduced total of £150,000. The court heard that her only income is £123 a week in benefits. 

“I am afraid that today Mrs Welch cannot put her hands to a pound, let alone £150,000,” said Justice Holman.

Link: Welch vs. Welch