We are often sought out by the national media to provide expert commentary on the subject of divorce: today it was on the topic of the McPartlin financial settlement. Partner Fiona Wood explains:
"The most striking element of this story is the alleged agreement that Mr McPartlin will give ex-wife Lisa Armstrong £31 million in their divorce settlement, out of a pot that is reportedly thought to be £50 million
• The starting point in any financial settlement in divorce is a 50/50 division of the assets. However the judge must then consider if there are reasons to depart from equality.
• Reasons for departing from equality would be that one spouse brought significant assets into the marriage and/or acquired significant assets after separation. Ms Armstrong’s financial claims are therefore likely to be limited to the money amassed during the marriage, which includes any period that the couple cohabited prior to their marriage. Therefore if there is any deviation away from equality, it is more likely to be in Mr McPartlin’s favour than Ms Armstrong’s.
• The settlement will need to meet the couple’s needs, but in big money cases, where there are significant assets, this will not usually be a problem.
• The law does not favour the spouse who generated capital during a marriage when looking at how the assets should be divided.
• It is one of the myths around divorce that if one spouse has committed adultery, that spouse should be treated more harshly. The reasons for the breakdown of the marriage rarely have any impact on the financial settlement. The court will look at fairness and need.
• If, as is reported, the couple shared custody of their dog during their two years’ separation, then it is likely the judge will therefore be happy for that situation to continue."
You can read the story in full here