Multi-millionaire Norwegian businessman, 70, WINS fight against London divorce after judge rules estranged wife, 50, and ‘two cherished cats’ had not moved to England in time

  • Svetlana Nicolaisen wants to divorce in London, but husband Bjorn disagreed
  • High Court judge had to rule if she lived in England 12 months before application 
  • Mr Justice Moor also had to consider if ‘two cherished cats’ had made the move  
  • He found no ‘concrete evidence’ she lived here before September 2019 deadline
  • The High Court judge today ruled in Norwex founder Bjorn Nicolaisen’s favour 

A multi-millionaire Norwegian businessman has won a High Court battle against a London divorce after a judge ruled his estranged wife had not moved to England in time to separate in the UK.

Svetlana Nicolaisen, 50, wanted to divorce in London, but husband Bjorn, 70, disagreed and argued that the legal dispute should take place in Norway, where he says there are already ‘proceedings continuing’.

Mr Justice Moor today ruled in favour of Mr Nicolaisen following a hearing at the Family Division of the High Court.

In a written ruling, he said he had to decide whether Mrs Nicolaisen had lived in the jurisdiction of England and Wales for at least a year immediately before making the divorce application.

The judge also had to consider whether their ‘two much cherished cats’ had moved to England.

Mr Justice Moor said he had to be satisfied that Mrs Nicolaisen was ‘habitually resident – or possibly resident’ on or before September 14, 2019 and ‘throughout the 12 months thereafter’.

Bjorn Nicolaisen, 70,  (pictured) founded Norwegian company Norwex, which specialises in sustainable cleaning products

His wife Svetlana Nicolaisen (pictured) wanted to divorce in London, but Bjorn argued that the legal dispute should take place in Norway

Richard Todd QC, who led Mrs Nicolaisen’s legal team, argued that she met the relevant tests and it was ‘self-evident that she had established jurisdiction’.

But Nicholas Yates QC, Mr Nicolaisen’s barrister, told the court she was not habitually resident, nor even a resident, in the country by the deadline of September 14, 2019.

Mr Justice Moor today ruled in his favour, adding that he had ‘not been able to find one piece of concrete evidence’ that his estranged wife had ‘actually moved’ to England and Wales by this date.

The judge said evidence had indicated that the cats had arrived in England and Wales on February 14, 2020.

He therefore concluded that they had not moved to England by the deadline date five months earlier.

Mr Justice Moor today ruled in favour of Mr Nicolaisen, following a hearing at the Family Division of the High Court (pictured)

Mr Nicolaisen founded a business in Norway named Norwex, which involved sustainable cleaning products.

His wife was born in Turkmenistan when it still formed part of the Soviet Union, before moving to Loughton, Essex.

The judge said she was a Norwegian citizen, but had not lived there since 2007.

He add that the couple had married in Norway in 2002 and had lived together in Norway, Malta, and Austria.

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