A woman who is still fighting her ex-husband in court more than 25 years after they divorced has said that she fears she will die before the dispute is settled.
Carole Hayes, 67, and her former husband, Timothy, 68, an accountant and computer entrepreneur, divorced in 1991 when they had both just turned 40.
But in a scenario reminiscent of the hit BBC drama [ital] Dr Foster, they are now well past retirement age and still have not buried the hatchet. Mrs Hayes declared this week: “I just want it to finish before I die.”
Mr Hayes denies claims that he has a £1 million “pot of gold” hidden overseas. His ex-wife has hotly disputed his accusations that she has harassed him and his new wife. Each has also issued separate petitions to have the other declared bankrupt.
After their latest face off in the High Court yesterday, Mr Justice Morgan was told that both parties had new relationships: Mr Hayes lives with his wife, Margaret, in Upper Cambourne, near Cambridge, and Mrs Hayes lives with her long-term partner, Graham Butters, in St Albans.
When the couple agreed to divide their marital wealth, it looked like an ordinary divorce. However, they have since been “embroiled in numerous disputes”.
In 2005 Mrs Hayes successfully petitioned to make her ex-husband bankrupt for not paying £35,000 in legal costs. However, he has complained about her “repeated allegations that he has hidden monies in the order of £750,000 to £1 million abroad”.
Mr Hayes, who was discharged from bankruptcy in March 2006, is now trying to give his ex-wife a taste of her own medicine by having her declared bankrupt for non-payment of a series of legal costs orders totalling about £50,000.
This week Mrs Hayes asked Mr Justice Morgan to rule that she should not have to pay up, but the judge rejected her appeal.