|A woman from Sussex is divorcing her husband after getting a previous divorce overturned because she said it was granted without her knowledge. |
Eileen Tan, 38, from Brighton, said her husband Terence disappeared when he gained Irish citizenship in 1999.
But last year she learnt that he was granted a divorce in 2002, before he remarried and returned to Brighton. It was legal but Mrs Tan wanted it rescinded as a matter of principle, which Mr Tan agreed to last month.
She went to the High Court's Family Division to have it overturned, at which time her husband, who is also 38, accepted her application.
"We married and agreed and both said, 'I do'," Mrs Tan told BBC South East Today. "Well - 'I don't' is a divorce, and I think I should have had my chance to say, 'I don't'."
The couple were married in Ireland in 1989, had two children and then settled as a family near Brighton. Mrs Tan said her husband deserted her by not moving to Ireland with the family 10 years later. She did not see Mr Tan again until summer 2006, when she discovered he was running a Chinese restaurant back in Brighton and had a new family.
When she told another woman at Mr Tan's home that she was his wife, the reply was: "No, you can't be, I am." In a statement to the BBC, Mr Tan's lawyers argued that he only filed for divorce after an attempt by Mrs Tan to do so first had failed.
They added that he questioned the "use of public funds to make an application to rescind his divorce, and Miss Higgins' [Mrs Tan's maiden name] motive for making the application".
The statement ended: "The net effect of this is that fresh divorce proceedings are now issued on the same grounds as previously sought by Miss Higgins and Mr Tan."