If the headlines are correct, the divorce battle between Ant McPartlin (H) and his estranged wife Lisa (W) is becoming more contentious by the minute.
Recent reports that he is dating his personal assistance has led to angry Twitter posts and ‘claims’ that W now has her sights set on taking him for every penny.
But can you actually take someone for every penny in a divorce? Guest blogger Phoebe Turner, Managing Partner at the Stowe Family Law London Victoria office joins us to discuss if this is ever the case.
“England is often regarded as the divorce capital of the world for the wealthy, in part due to the fact that in English law both partners are often entitled to share the capital that is built up in a marriage equally.
With this very high-profile case, the media attention is an issue especially with H’s well-documented difficulties with alcohol abuse. So, a key priority for H will be to keep it out of the public eye and try to protect his valuable brand. I would expect his reputation management advisors to encourage him to get an injunction on the press having access to proceedings.
Alternatively, H and W may wish to utilise the increasingly popular method among high net worth parties, especially those in the public eye, of private arbitration /Financial Dispute Resolutions where the details of the final settlement are kept entirely confidential, essentially a secret divorce.
Many of the wealthiest cases are not held in open court and many deals amongst the wealthy elite remain secret. While we read about high-profile cases in the press, the biggest divorce settlements are not always those in the news, but those conducted under a shroud of secrecy.
The couple were married in 2006, but have been together for 18 years and these years may be added on to the length of the relationship. In any event, this is a long relationship where it would appear a significant proportion of the assets will have been accrued during the marriage.
As there are no children W can only claim for herself and the fact that H allegedly had an affair will not affect the financial outcome. The starting point will be a 50:50 division of all assets in H and W’s name (this division can be a very complicated process in a high net worth divorce). Unless of course, they had a prenup which may or may not be upheld depending on the parties’ specific circumstances.
The quicker both parties reach a decision on the terms of the divorce and their finances the better as it will incur lower costs. Lengthy divorce battles in court are expensive.
So, can W take H for every penny? Actually no, but she may get half of every penny. I am interested to watch how this one plays out.”
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