Wronged party does wrong...

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A former millionaire who says he can’t afford to pay his ex-wife a maintenance fee of £2,000 a month because he is now homeless, has been heard at the Court of Appeal. The court heard Peter Morris was told to pay his ex-wife £500,000 but in recent times extravagant spending by Mr Morris has left him homeless and his refusal to pay maintenance has resulted in him being given a suspended six-week jail term.

Peter Morris probably didn’t envisage his spending would lead to a jail term. But there have been many other similar cases where individuals have reacted badly when experiencing the breakdown of a relationship, for this to ultimately backfire on them. Examples include:

  • When the then Liberal Democrat minister Chris Huhne left his wife, Vicky Pryce, for another woman. In response, Mrs Pryce disclosed how she had taken on his speeding points so he could avoid a driving ban, presumably thinking that this would get him into trouble. Whilst she was correct in this regard, it also had the effect of her being found guilty for perverting the course of justice.
  • One husband found out that his wife had cheated on him shortly after they had got married. His ill-advised response to this was to post flyers all over their local town that set out his wife's adulterous actions but also included a picture of her in her underwear. Although this provided the husband with short term satisfaction, the long term effect of having a criminal record for distributing offensive pictures of his wife was not something he would have wanted.
  • Upon finding out that her boyfriend had changed his Facebook status from 'in a relationship' to 'single', a lady in Bolton drove her car through the doors of the bowling alley where her ex-boyfriend was working. The result? £14,000 worth of damage, a nine month suspended sentence and an 18 month driving ban.

Whilst emotions will be running high when a relationship breaks down, you have to be careful to ensure that your subsequent actions do not cause more difficulties which may involve criminal proceedings being brought against you.

If you are faced with a relationship breakdown then you should avoid any kind of revenge action and consult a family solicitor so as to clarify what your legal rights are. Not only will this assist in resolving the overall situation, by having an independent third party to discuss matters with, this will enable to you to make rational decisions on how to deal with matters which will avoid you causing yourself further problems.