Graham Coy, one of Stowe Family Law’s most experienced lawyers and Partner in our London office, appeared on Talk Radio this morning. He spoke with presenter Paul Ross about darts legend Phil Taylor’s clean break divorce settlement.
Taylor’s wife has been awarded more than £800,000 , five of the couple’s 14 properties and her part of her husband’s pension in a ‘clean break’ court settlement.
Graham explained that a ‘clean break’ divorce means that there are no financial ties to one another going forward.
PR: Paul Ross
GC: Graham Coy
PR: We can now speak to Graham Coy, Partner at Stowe Family Law. Good morning, Graham.
GC: Good morning.
PR: Of course with the sums involved in this and the profile of the couple I suppose means it is on the front cover of The Sun newspaper, do you think this in an unusual settlement in any way given what you know of it?
GC: From what I know of it so far, not particularly because what the essence of this was Mrs Taylor was entitled to one half of the capital which has built up during a long marriage and they had a number of children as well. The basis of the order was not only did she receive some money to rehouse herself but also to produce a fund from which she could invest and then from that have an income for the rest of her life. So, she got some cash and part of Phil Taylor’s pension so that it brings to an end their financial ties to one another.
PR: They do have four children between them and there has been a bit of back and forth ‘argy bargy’ over the settlement. I think Phil Taylor offered £480,000 as a lump sum but the judge said that he wanted more and he got more for the ex-wife because, and I quote “Taylor could and should have done more to help his ex during the immediate aftermath of their divorce”. Would that, do we think, be done more financially, or emotionally or a mixture of both?
GC: When judges look at the finances available when couples divorce, they just look at the money and nothing else. So what people have done or what people haven’t done during the lead up to the divorce and separation very, very seldom does it ever affect what the judge decides.
PS: When we talk about these kind of cases, it normally or seems to be a kind of 50-50 split. Is that what people should expect as a matter of course?
GC: Well the starting point these days in this country for the division of capital is an equal division. Sometimes that doesn’t work. Firstly, sometimes there is those not much capital, you have a relatively young couple, wife doesn’t work, and looking after the children, perhaps half of the capital will never enable her to rehouse herself and the children so she may get more. Equally, if you’ve got a very short marriage or a marriage where one person has brought a lot of money into the marriage an equal division may not be the right answer. The starting point, as you say, is with the equal division.
PS: I think this is a kind of ‘clean break’ settlement as they’re called, so does that not then mean that Taylor will be paying support on a monthly basis to his children?
GC: He will still pay maintenance to the children; I don’t know what ages they are but that is going to be relatively limited I would have thought given Mr and Mrs Taylor’s ages. What it does mean is whatever he earns in the future, whatever capital he builds up, she will have no more claims on it so the idea is she goes her own way financially, he goes his own way financially from now on.
PR: He is world number three at the moment so he is a very senior, very successful darts player. If his career took off amazingly in America for example, she couldn’t go back to the courts looking for a bigger settlement or more money?
GC: Absolutely right. We call it a ‘clean break’, it is a total clean break. So from now on they have no financial ties to one another at all. They can each get on with their own lives after inevitably what has been a very difficult and stressful time for them both.
PR: Thank you very much for your time this morning. Graham Coy there, Partner at Stowe Family Law talking to me, Paul Ross on Talk Radio.
Click here to listen to the full interview (Graham appear at 09:12)