Should I Stay or Should I Go? Ant McPartlin “Told Off” by High Court Judge for Non-Attendance at Hearing

We have seen many a news story recently regarding the divorce of Ant and Lisa. Indeed, many of us, family lawyers included, have been glued to our mobile phones awaiting the next ‘breaking news’ alert. It seems that the couple are now in financial proceedings to resolve their financial matters after being granted Decree Nisi last month. The parties remain married until Decree Absolute is pronounced.

The latest news is that the couple were due to attend a “preliminary hearing” so that the Court can begin analysing issues relating to the division of their assets. This is most likely to be the First Directions Appointment, the first hearing in a three-tier hearing system for the parties to resolve the issues surrounding their matrimonial finances.

However, it is reported that Ant did not attend the hearing and has received a “telling off” from the Judge. The Judge is reported to have said “there isn’t one law for the famous and one for the rest of the community.” Indeed, Family Law Procedure Rule 27.3 tells us that all parties must attend a hearing of which they have been given notice, unless the Court directs otherwise.

Anyone going through a similar situation should heed this warning; the Court can make any Order that they see fit during the course of the proceedings. To ensure that you have your opportunity to put forward your side to the Court, even if you are legally represented, you must attend a hearing or risk an Order being made in your absence which you may not be happy with – even if you are part of the rich and famous!

If you require any advice regarding your finances following your separation / Divorce or help and assistance throughout the Court process, please contact our specialist family team on 01942 206060.

Please do not hesitate to contact our family solicitors Gillian Lavelle or Kim Busby if you wish to discuss any of the above further. McCarthy Bennett Holland are able to offer a free 30 minute initial consultation and are more than happy to assist.

www.wigansolicitors.com Tel: 01942 206060 Address: 26 Bridgeman Terrace, Wigan WN1 1TD Twitter: @MBHSolicitors

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