Wednesday, May 03, 2006

"Marriage, greed and revenge"

Two articles on the subject of divorce settlements have appeared in the Times Online in the last few days.

The first article, which appeared in the Sunday Times on the 30th April, reports on the increasing number of high-earning 'superwomen' who are having to pay out large settlements to their lower-earning (ex-)husbands. As far as I'm concerned, there is little news here (apart from the fact, perhaps, that there are now more such women than previously): contrary to the belief of many clients, the rules do not, of course, discriminate between men and women. The large post-White v White settlements that many husbands have complained about can equally happen to the wife.

The second article, which appeared in the Times on 2nd May, is more interesting. It is a discussion with top family barristers about "marriage, greed and revenge". Although inevitably much of the discussion relates only to 'high-value' divorces, there are some nice snippets. For example, Nicholas Mostyn, QC (who I am delighted to learn smokes Marlboro Lights, like me) "rejects the view that London is the divorce capital of the world as "melodramatic hyperbole"". Later on, there is some good advice from James Turner, QC who advises parties to settle if they can and says: "However much you may want to bitch and have a go at the other side, tear them limb from limb, it’s going to cost you a lot financially and emotionally if you go down that path. Six months down the line, you won’t feel the same."

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