Divorce: Which celebrity couple would you rather be?

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Posted 20/08/2013

What comes to mind when you hear the words ‘celebrity and divorce’ together?  Heather Mills throwing that glass of water, or Nigella Lawson and those pictures?  We can learn a lot about how to divorce (and how not to!) by looking at a few examples from celebrities.Heather Mills & Paul McCartney:  the courtroom battleThis couple took the litigious route, with the battle decided by a Judge, who made a decision for the couple about how their assets should be divided.The court approach is generally more costly, and by its nature, tends to make couples feel they are on opposing sides. Sometimes, court is the right route, perhaps because one person is not being honest about their financial position. Not every case involving the court needs to be as acrimonious as Mills and McCartney’s was. Sometimes court proceedings can help focus minds, making settlement easier. Charles Saatchi and Nigella Lawson:  the Pre-NupTheir divorce should be concluded next month.  Before they married, Lawson and Saatchi entered into a prenuptial agreement, setting out what would happen financially if their marriage ended.  Press reports suggest they will follow the terms of their pre-nup and make no financial claims against the other. A couple can make planned, rational decisions about their financial future at the start of a relationship when things are positive.  The result at the end of a marriage can be a swift financial settlement without dispute.  This can allow a couple to move on amicably, particularly helpful when they have children.  Pre-nuptial agreements are not automatically binding, but more weight is now being placed on agreements when they are properly entered into after legal advice.Compared to the costs of a disputed financial settlement, pre-nuptial agreements can be really cost effective. Madonna and Guy Ritchie:  the Collaborative approachThis couple apparently relied on mediation or collaborative law to reach an agreement about care of their child and their financial arrangements.  Both approaches involve reaching an amicable agreement in face-to-face meetings, either with or without a lawyer present. Clients often feel more in control of the process and there is a sense of working together to achieve a solution, enabling couples to part amicably.Both methods can mean an agreement is reached quickly, which is beneficial emotionally and in terms of costs.Divorce and separation is a difficult and emotional time in anyone’s life, even without the prying eyes of the press taking in every detail. If you would like further information and advice, please contact Sue Bailey on 01603 703223 or email her at sue.bailey@ashtonslegal.co.uk. Alternatively complete one of our enquiry forms.Picture: Sue Bailey – author


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