Amicable divorce: fact or fiction?

Divorce | 15 Sep 2009 0

I was interviewed for a feature in The Mail on Sunday’s YOU magazine, which focused upon “amicable” divorces that descend into bitter battles. I would like to emphasise that not every spouse behaves badly during a divorce; however, some interesting points are made. The feature was published on Sunday 13 September.


Divorce or destruction? When relationships reach the bitterest end

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Though Caroline Spencer may be baffled and bewildered by her former husband Earl Spencer’s behaviour during their divorce proceedings this summer, there will be other ex-wives across the country feeling a sorry shiver of recognition.

First, the earl woos and marries Caroline, telling the world, ‘I’ve found somebody I respect and love and I feel deeply happy.’ Then the couple settle into an enviable life, dividing time between their canalside home in Northwest London and the Althorp estate in Northamptonshire, where Caroline soon makes her mark with an annual literary festival.

After the birth of their son, Ned, Caroline declares herself ecstatic, telling one journalist that every day she feels ‘blessed’. When asked about the earl’s track record – his previous messy divorce which ended amid accusations that he was a ‘callous adulterer’ – her reply is unequivocal. ‘I can’t think of anyone less callous,’ she says. ‘Strong, determined, all of those things. But never callous.’

Words that must haunt her now.

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The founder of Stowe Family Law, Marilyn Stowe is one of Britain’s best known divorce lawyers. She retired from Stowe Family Law in 2017.

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