WALES/ENGLAND – Widower loses court fight to annul divorce from late wife

A husband attempting to have his divorce annulled even though his wife has been dead for more than two years has had his legal bid dashed.

Desmond McIntosh claimed he did not realise his wife Jennifer had already divorced him while he cared for her during her final illness.

The dyslexic carpenter said his literacy skills are so poor he did not realise he had signed divorce papers that left him “with absolutely no capital” following Jennifer’s death at the age of 71 in February 2011.

He told the Appeal Court in London he spent the last two years of her life “caring for her in her dying days” and said he was shocked and appalled to learn after she died that she had ended their marriage in November 2009.

Mr McIntosh, 58, asked Lord Justice Ryder to resurrect his marriage, claiming that his signature on the document which finalised the divorce had been unfairly “procured” by his wife using “undue influence”.

The court heard yesterday that the couple married in 1993 following a Caribbean romance and ran a carpentry business together.

They lived in Thamesmead for 16 years until her death from lung and brain cancer.

They bought the house — which is now worth about £350,000 — for £78,000 in 1993, using Jennifer’s capital as a deposit and the property was put in her sole name.

Kenneth Rogers, for Mr McIntosh, argued that “it was agreed between the parties orally that they would own the property jointly in equal shares”.

After a half-day hearing Lord Justice Ryder refused Mr McIntosh permission to appeal and will give his reasons at a later date.


SOURCE: Evening Standard

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