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2023 has seen some major Hollywood A listers divorce after decades with their spouses. Many announced the decision to divorce on Instagram, with many citing their “love and kindness” for their soon-to-be-ex, even before the omnipresent requests for privacy.

From X-Men to ex-spouse

Hollywood superstar Hugh Jackman and his wife if 27 years, Deborra-lee Furness, announced their divorce in a statement to celebrity magazine People in September 2023.

“Our journey now is shifting and we have decided to separate to pursue our individual growth. Our family has been and always will be our highest priority. We undertake this next chapter with gratitude, love, and kindness.”

 

”Irreconcilable differences" after 14 months for Britney and Sam

Only 14 months after their wedding in June 2022, Britney Spears’ husband Sam Asghari filed for divorce. Despite him being prominent in the campaign to release her from her conservatorship, it seems their relationship has reached an end, with Asghari citing "irreconcilable differences" when filing for divorce.

In his statement on Instagram, Asghari said:

"After six years of love and commitment to each other, my wife and I have decided to end our journey together. We will hold on to the love and respect that we have for each other and I wish her the best always. … Asking for privacy seems ridiculous so I will just ask for everyone including media to be kind and thoughtful."

The couple have, according to Asgahri, put prenups in place. When the couple got engaged, he joked on social media that:

“Of course we’re getting ironclad prenup to protect my Jeep and shoe collection in case she dumps me one day.”

 

Meryl Streep: together but apart

Academy award winning actress Meryl Streep and husband Don Gummer had already been separated for six years when they made their separation more widely known in October 2023. A statement from a representative said that;

“While they will always care for each other, they have chosen lives apart.”

Streep once said of her relationship:

“It sure isn’t easy being married to an actress. But if you give each other space, you also get closeness. And time is still the best thing we can give each other nowadays.”

Streep and Gummer had been married for 45 years and have four children and five grandchildren.

 

Dancing and divorce

After 11 years of marriage, Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millepied have separated amid rumours of Millipied having an extra marital affair. The couple met when he taught her to dance for her role in the ballet movie “Black Swan”.

As an unidentified source informed “Us Weekly” magazine,

“After news of his affair came out, they’ve been trying to work on their marriage but are currently on the outs.”

 

Like father like son?

It is very rare that serving political leaders separate when actually in office, but Canadian PM Justin Trudeau did so by ending his 18-year marriage to Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.

An official statement from the PM’s office explained that:

“They have worked to ensure that all legal and ethical steps with regards to their decision to separate have been taken, and will continue to do so moving forward. They remain a close family and Sophie and the Prime Minister are focused on raising their kids in a safe, loving and collaborative environment."

In a statement released on Instagram, Justin and Sophie said the decision to separate had come after “Many meaningful and difficult conversations”.

Remarkably, Justin Trudeau is following in his own father’s footsteps. Pierre Elliott Trudeau separated from his wife when Prime Minister in 1977 (his first term in office), and the couple later divorced in 1983 during Trudeau senior’s second term.

 

Lost election, lost husband?

Trudeau wasn’t the only world leader separating, however. Finland’s former Prime Minister, who married her husband whilst serving as PM in August 2020, separated from her husband after losing the general election in April 2023.

 

The Grande / Gomez Pre-Nup

After just two years of marriage, pop star Ariana Grande has divorced husband Dalton Gomez. According to filed court documents, the financial settlement will be in line with the couple’s pre-nup agreement.

With an estimated personal worth of around $240million, Ms Grande has also requested:

“Miscellaneous jewelry and other personal effects (and) earnings and accumulations of petitioner before marriage, during marriage, and from and after the date of separation.”

 

“Having to participate”: Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner

Another major Hollywood couple decided to go separate ways when Ms Baumgartner filed for divorce after being married to Kevin Costner for 19 years.

Mr Costner’s representative released a somewhat loaded statement that:

“Circumstances beyond his control have transpired which have resulted in Mr. Costner having to participate in a dissolution of marriage action. We ask that his, Christine’s, and their children’s privacy be respected as they navigate this difficult time.”

In their own statement, the couple said they had come to:

“An amicable and mutually agreed upon resolution of all issues pertaining to their divorce proceedings."

 

“The difficult decision to divorce”: Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth

The “Legally Blonde” star and her husband divorced after nearly 12 years of marriage. The couple issued a carefully worded statement with a plea for privacy for them and their son:

“It is with a great deal of care and consideration that we have made the difficult decision to divorce. We have enjoyed so many wonderful years together and are moving forward with deep love, kindness, and mutual respect for everything we have created together.”

“Our biggest priority is our son and our entire family as we navigate this next chapter. These matters are never easy and are extremely personal. We truly appreciate everyone’s respect for our family’s privacy at this time.”

 

Your divorce, m’lord?

Star of “Downton Abbey” and “Paddington” films, Hugh Bonneville and his wife Lulu Williams separated in October after 25 years of marriage. Sadly, it looks as if their decision to renew their vows in the Graceland chapel in Las Vegas failed to secure a lasting commitment.

 

Don't Look Back In Anger: Noel Gallagher and Sara MacDonald

Oasis singer and rock icon separated from his wife of 22 years in January. Hopefully the singer, famous for his outspoken views, will take advice from his own hit song title.

 

Considering getting divorced?

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Director Rita Gupta looks at some celebrity divorces and separations from 2022, and finds some interesting advice from those in the spotlight of media attention.

 

Toni Collette and Dave Galafassi

The “Muriel’s Wedding” actress and her musician husband announced the end to their 20-year marriage in a short post on Instagram:

“It is with grace and gratitude that we announce we are divorcing."

 

Kim Kardashian and Ye

Kardashian filed in February 2021 for divorce from Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. However, it took until the very end of November 2022 for a settlement to be agreed. According to court documents, Ye is to pay $200,000 per month in child support and have joint custody of their four children. According to Insider magazine the couple will

  • “Split the costs of health care, security, and educational expenses, including private school tuition and fees and tutoring costs.
  • Divide up their assets, including their properties, as laid down in their prenup agreement
  • Waive spousal support.

Ye might need the money, as he claimed in a podcast that the IRS in America say he owes them $50million in tax.

 

Helen Skelton and Richie Myler

Married for eight years, the former Blue Peter and Countryfile presenter and her rugby player husband announced the couple had split, just four months after the birth of their third child. Helen then spent much of the autumn on “Strictly Come Dancing”, reaching the finals. Writing on social media, Helen announced that she was:

"Very sad to say that Richie and I are no longer a couple. He has left the family home. We will be doing our best to co parent our small children."

 

Alan Carr and Paul Drayton

It seems even a celebrity celebrant wasn’t sufficient to keep Carr and his husband of three years together. Married by the singer Adele in 2018, the pair announced that they were separating “amicably”.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen

After 13 years of marriage, the American NFL football star divorced his supermodel wife amid the usual flurry of statements on Instagram and in magazine interviews. Many wives of sporting stars might potentially agree with Gisele when she told Elle magazine that:

“I’ve done my part, which is (to) be there for (Tom). I focused on creating a cocoon and a loving environment for my children to grow up in and to be there supporting him and his dreams. … At this point in my life, I feel like I’ve done a good job on that. I have a huge list of things that I have to do, that I want to do.”

Announcing the split on Instagram, Gisele focused on their children:

“My priority has always been and will continue to be our children whom I love with all my heart. We will continue co-parenting to give them the love, care and attention they greatly deserve."

 

Here we go again… Tish Cyrus and Billy Ray Cyrus

In May 2022, Tish filed for divorce from the third time. According to Cosmopolitan:

”Tish cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the breakup, saying she and Billy have not “cohabited as man and wife for a continuous period of more than two years.”

So, will they actually divorce this time? It seems more likely, as Tish Cyrus is now dating US Prison Break star Dominic Purcell. Her husband Billy Ray Cyrus became engaged to Australian singer Firerose in November. Needless to say, for engagement to turn into marriage, there needs to be a finalised divorce first...

 

Moving on…

After his unsuccessful lawsuit against The Sun, Johnny Depp dated Joelle Rich, a member of his legal team. However, the couple split after just two months together. (We might add that this isn’t normally what happens with legal teams!)

 

The importance of friends

Superstar singer Adele gave candid insights into the “really traumatic” breakdown of her marriage to Simon Konecki. Talking to audiences at her Las Vegas live shows, Adele revealed that:

“A relationship falling apart, whether you're married or not, it's really difficult and it's really traumatic. Keep your friends close to you because they're better than any man, better than any woman. Your friends are for life."

And finally … tips for a long lasting marriage from another Strictly star

Actor and “Two Pints” star Will Mellor revealed the secret to his long partnership and marriage to Michelle McSween. Will’s wife and family became familiar faces in the “Strictly” audience, as Will progressed to the semi-finals of the dance competition.

On their fifteenth wedding anniversary, Will told The Irish Sun that the secret was to make time for each other and for the family too.

“We do date night every week. We find it hard at the moment though because I am on the dance floor on Strictly every Saturday, but usually, Saturday night is always date night.

Friday night is always family night and we’ll go out for dinner or play some board games with the kids. We try to keep that going especially now the kids are getting older because I really am trying my best to stay fun dad. We talk about our week and it’s so important for them not to have their technology with them at the table."

 

Divorce and separation involving children

If you have children and are concerned about separating or divorcing, contact us. During your reduced fee 1-hour consultation, you can discuss your situation and receive legal advice to help you move forward with knowledge and confidence.

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This year, LGFL are supporting local charities that help people cope with the impact of the cost of living crisis. Our chosen charities are either based in our home county of Berkshire or the bordering counties of Hampshire and Surrey.

Our chosen charities are:

Your Sanctuary

A Surrey based charity supporting survivors of Domestic Abuse. Offers sanctuary, support and empowerment to anyone affected by Domestic Abuse.

Mankind Initiative

A charity we have supported before, who fund a confidential helpline for male victims of domestic abuse and domestic violence on 01823 334244.

The Cowshed Reading

The Cowshed is a crisis charity that provides clothing and other items for individuals and families in Berkshire experiencing hardship.

Newbury Soup Kitchen

Newbury Soup Kitchen provides a freshly cooked and prepared hot three-course meal every Thursday, Wednesday and Saturday evening for the homeless, vulnerable, less fortunate and the rough sleepers of Newbury.

The Camrose Centre

A drop-in centre for anyone who is sleeping rough, homeless or vulnerably housed within Basingstoke and Deane. The Centre is a place where people struggling with accommodation can find a listening ear and companionship, as well as access to a hot shower, clean clothes, shoes and food packs.

All of us here at LGFL Ltd wish you all the best for the New Year period.

Just five weeks after making their separation public, former supermodel Jerry Hall and media mogul Rupert Murdoch have finalised their divorce. Ms Hall, 66, filed for divorce in California on 1 July, citing ‘irreconcilable differences' with her 91-year-old husband.

The divorce has proceeded at remarkable speed. The couple’s spokesperson released a statement this week saying that:

“Jerry Hall and Rupert Murdoch have finalized their divorce. They remain good friends and wish each other the best for the future.”

Earlier there had been a glitch when Ms Hall had requested the court to dismiss her petition, which stated that she was:

“Unaware of the full nature and extent of all (Murdoch’s) assets and debts, and will amend this petition when the information has been ascertained.”

However, despite this initial issue of non-disclosure of financial details, the couple reached an agreement, and the divorce went ahead.

Ms Hall filed for divorce in Los Angeles rather than in the UK where the couple married in 2016. Californian divorce law means that any property acquired during the marriage is automatically divided between them 50/50.

Also, had she filed for divorce in the UK, she would have had to wait considerably longer for her divorce to be finalised. Under no fault divorce legislation, a divorce takes 26 weeks (six months) minimum.

Property and fortunes

According to Forbes, Mr Murdoch is worth an estimated $19.8billion, most of which would have been (presumably) accrued before his fourth marriage to Ms Hall.

However, since marrying, the couple have invested heavily in property in the UK and US, including:

  • Holmwood House, a £11.25million Georgian property near Henley-on-Thames
  • Great Tew Manor, subject of a £30 million restoration project
  • A £228m cattle ranch near Yellowstone Park in Montana

It is believed that other properties they own are held in trust and include apartments in London and New York, ranches in California and Australia, and a $30m winery.

In addition, during their marriage, Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox assets were acquired by Disney for an eye-watering $71billion.

 

Quick - and quiet

Mr Murdoch is no stranger to sensational divorce revelations appearing in the newspapers as he is CEO and Chairman of media group News Corp. However, it seems from the speed of this divorce that he wanted it to be done with the minimum of fuss.

When Ms Hall separated from Rolling Stone Mike Jagger, she was awarded a settlement of around $18m. Mr Murdoch’s three previous divorces cost him considerably more. His divorce with second wife Anna, for example, resulted in a reported settlement of $1.7billion.

His divorce settlement with Ms Hall is said to include Holmwood House and a home in the south of France, but none of the US properties.

“Estimates of the final cash sum Hall will receive range from £50m-£250m, a relatively small sum for one of the world’s richest men. It is understood the couple agreed a pre-nup deal setting out what she would get in the event of a separation.”

(For more about pre-nups, see our page).

 

File for divorce in LA or London?

How assets are divided on divorce varies considerably depending on what country and which jurisdiction you file for your divorce in. Ms Hall chose to file her divorce in LA, where the 50/50 rule applies. However, many ultra high worth individuals choose to file for divorce in the English courts, as there is no fixed rule on how assets are divided. Often wives choose the UK as it can be deemed to be more favourable to wives specifically in terms of maintenance awards which of course can be capitalised.

 

Divorce for ex-pats and those working abroad

At LGFL, we have represented ex pats living or working abroad in divorce cases here in the UK courts, whether as petitioner or respondent. Our remote service ensures we can represent you and work to protect the best interests of you and your children.

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- Book a reduced fee 1 hr consultation at a time to suit you

“Until two weeks ago he insisted there was no one else, then my phone pinged and I saw (he) had unblocked me on Instagram. I thought maybe there was a chance he wanted to talk or something. Then it was announced by him and his mistress that they were a couple.”

When actor Ioan Gruffudd walked out on his wife of 14 years in January 2021, Alice Evans claimed he gave no explanation for his actions. She also claimed that Gruffudd secretly filed for divorce, and she only found out about it via a media news story.

 

Letting everyone know via social media

Celebrities are turning to social media to announce major moments in their personal lives, including the end of relationships and divorce proceedings. Some choose to issue joint statements explaining how they are separating and respect each other. Those with kids often emphasis how they will be co-parenting their children. Most leave the more personal details of the breakup for the courtroom.

This is also true of the Gruffodd/Evans divorce, at least as far as he formal paperwork is concerned. The divorce papers filed in Los Angeles stated that the couple were collaborating on spousal support and were seeking joint custody of their two daughters.

What sets Ms Evans apart is that after Gruffodd left, she took to social media to disclose personal and detailed information to her fans via her own social media. As The Mirror newspaper commented, Ms Evans:

“Has refused to hold back and has detailed every part of their toxic split on social media.”

In turn, Gruffudd’s divorce petition cites “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for the split. However, his own social media announcement that he and his girlfriend were now a couple in turn prompted social media replies from work colleagues, congratulating them on being able to be open about their relationship that had previously been kept secret.

 

Don’t hit the Post button yet

Evans is not the first angry ex to be litigating via the media. More and more couples are taking to social media to reveal acrimonious details of their disputes, splits and to describe in detail what their version of events is.

In the heat of the moment, some may not take the time to consider how this very public airing of both facts and emotions can have a devastating impact on:

  • their children
  • their wider family, including grandparents
  • their legal case in divorce

At LGFL, we always advise clients to stop, take a deep breath or two and walk away for a few minutes before they hit the “Post” or “Send” button. This gives you time to cool down from the heat of the moment a little, consider what you have written, and what the implications might be if you choose to publish it.

 

Published posts and the courts

The key word here is “publish”. When you post on social media, regardless of your privacy settings, you are in effect publishing your news and views as if it were in a newspaper. You are placing your private information on a third party publishing platform, and giving them permission to share that with (potentially) a global audience. Even if your privacy settings limit the post to just a group of friends, there is nothing stopping them sharing the information, if not the actual post, with other mutual connections. So if you publish detailed posts, information that should remain private can very soon become public knowledge.

Furthermore, anything you post publicly online could be accessed by a court, and/or presented by the opposite party as evidence in a divorce case. If it is private, the court cannot access it, but it may be adduced as evidence.

Whilst you may think that your posts or tweets are simply ‘setting the record straight’ on something your ex has posted, a court may not take that view unless you can substantiate the claim. Instead, save and document that evidence to discuss with your divorce lawyer, and use it to potentially support your case in court or at mediation.

 

The impact of your social media posts

It is also crucial to consider the impact publishing on social media has on your own family, and especially your children. It must have been very hurtful for the couple’s children not knowing the reality of the situation - and then seeing it first on an Instagram feed.

Alice Evans wrote on Twitter her concerns about the effect on their daughters aged 12 and 8:

“You know what they ARE upset about though? That their Dad walked out and abandoned them out of the blue. Without explanation.”

She fears that this may cloud their future viewpoints:

“I’m scared that my little girls will be disappointed by their Dad’s behaviour and model that in their future relations with the opposite sex."

However, there is also the potentially “disappointing” example Ms Evans has set her girls in posting extensively on various social media platforms about the split.

 

Different points of view

It's always important to remember that we never really know what goes on behind closed doors in relationships. Gruffodd's own restraint doesn't necessarily mean he hasn't plenty to say, just that he doesn't choose to say it. Neither should Evans' plentiful social media posting equate to fault on either part. The aim of resolution lawyers such as ourselves is to move away from the blame game, and deal with matters away from the courtroom as far as possible.

 

Joint custody and co-parenting

In an interview with The Guardian. Gruffodd admitted to not being an experienced full-time parent:

“I think I did it for a week and thought I was really cool. Alice …had been away for a week. I was showing off – ‘the kids are in bed’ – and she was ‘Yeah, you’ve done one week Ioan, try six months’.”

The logistics and practicalities of co-parenting is an issue that all parents will need to address, and an area where mediation and collaborative law can help agreements to be reached outside of court rooms.

 

Tempted to take to social media about your relationship breakdown?

Respectfully we ask, please don’t! Instead, send us an email to book your fixed-fee appointment with one of our Directors. Both Anne and Rita are highly experienced and UK-ranked divorce lawyers. Furthermore, unlike larger local law firms, our personal, boutique service ensures the Director you meet is the Director who will lead your case throughout.

You can:

- Call us

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- Request your 1hr reduced fee consultation online

The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms

“Anne Leiper and Rita Gupta make a formidable team. They bring many years of experience to their cases. Both are superb at looking after their clients and guiding them through a difficult time in their lives. They consistently get excellent outcomes for their clients."

Legal 500 UK 2022

Divorce in 2020 has probably been more stressful for almost every couple that has separated. Family lawyer and LGFL Managing Director Rita Gupta takes a look at celebrity divorces, and how these high-profile couples share the same issues as anyone else going through divorce or separation.

 

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

The Hollywood superstar couple share six children - Maddox Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, and twins Vivienne and Knox. All the children have the surname Jolie-Pitt.

According to a source quoted in “People” magazine, back in July, the couple’s family therapy appeared to have helped them co-parent more effectively.

"It&'s taken them a long time … to get to this point. The younger kids go back and forth between their houses, and Brad loves spending as much time with them as possible. He seems much happier.”

However, that situation may be changing. A source from “Us” magazine explained that:

“Brad wants 50/50 joint physical and legal custody of the kids. Angelina has been unagreeable to those terms (and) will only agree to talk about an agreement if the home base for the children isn’t Los Angeles. The younger kids are in school in Los Angeles, which Angelina has always been opposed to.”

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the A-list couple have filed a list of 21 expert witnesses from security experts to child psychologists to appear at the court hearing to support their arguments. It includes “controversial” domestic violence expert Alyce LaViolette.

The origins of the custody battle appears to:

“Have stemmed in no small part from the actress' desire to move the children abroad. Brad vehemently opposed taking the kids abroad via his legal team.”

The couple currently live just under a mile apart, so the children are able to travel easily between their parents’ homes.

 

Rita says: As far as possible, we adopt a collaborative law approach to get separating parents to agree together what is best for the children outside of court proceedings. Child arrangements made outside of court are more likely to last, in our experience. However, in some cases courtroom battles over child arrangements, custody and contact are unavoidable, either to achieve the outcome you require, or because proceedings have been started by the other party.

If you do need to go to court, it pays to have experience litigators on your side, such as ourselves. As my Legal 500 2021 profile says “(Rita) will really go the extra mile to fight her client's corner. Her client dedication is second to none (and) she is tenacious, and determined.” As a team, Anne and I are “Both terrier-like in their tenacity to achieve success.”

Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock’s blended family

Grammy and Emmy award-winning singer Clarkson and her estranged husband share four children, two from their marriage and two from his previous marriage. However, unlike her usual direct and open approach to talking about her private life, for Clarkson the divorce is much more a closed book.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Clarkson explained her reasons:

“I'm not going to be able to be truly open about this in certain aspects because there's kids involved. My children and his older children — there are a lot of little hearts involved in this and while people feel, ‘Oh my gosh, what a loss...' imagine how it is in the epicenter of the storm. It's a lot to process and deal with, just as a family.”

 

Rita says: We admire the way Kelly is putting all four children at the centre of her decision not to open up to the media about her divorce. A child-centred approach is very much our aim here at LGFL. It helps parents to look at the overall impact of their decision to divorce, and to some degree, clear the petty disagreements away so they can focus on the major decisions that need to be made.

 

Phil Collins and Orianne Cevey - back together until…

Rock singer and drummer Collins and his third wife Cevey divorced back in 2008 reaching a $46million settlement. They subsequently reconciled in 2016 and lived together in Miami with their two sons. Collins said at the time that:

“Our young sons Matthew and Nicholas are like a dog with two tails. I mean, they're just so happy. They've got their mum and dad back together, so it's a good place to be at the moment."

However, Cevey now faces a potential eviction lawsuit after she married Thomas Bates in Las Vegas in August, without informing Collins. A formal request by Collins for her to move out of the house she share(d) with Collins was refused by Cevey. The couple have two sons, Nicholas (19) and Matthew (15).

 

Rita says: If an English or Welsh court were involved to decide where their sons should live, it would only be able to rule on the child arrangements for the 15 year old son. The 19 year old would be judged to be able to decide for himself.

What makes this situation so potentially tricky is that both Collins AND Cevey could claim that the property they share, which is owned by Collins, is their main home, and therefore the family home of their children. Quite why Cevey refuses to move out given that she has remarried is unknown, but some sources suggest she is keen to renegotiate the original 2008 settlement. Either way, once again, we see children stuck in the middle of acrimonious and divorced parents, made more difficult by the fact that they share the same physical space.

 

Keeping focused on the children

We see these kind of headline stories reflected in cases we deal with here in our local area of Reading, east Berkshire, and north Hampshire. In every case, we always adopt a child-centric approach, to find a way for couples to separate without splitting the family. We also see cases where a clean split is important too, such as cases involving domestic violence again women or men, and where the children need to be protected.

Whatever situation you find yourself in when you decide to separate from a spouse, a civil partner or a cohabiting partner, as experienced family lawyers we can help. Call us to book your initial 1-hour, no-obligation consultation, and we’ll give you the first 30 minutes free.

LGFL January Roundup of News

If you missed what we’ve been sharing last month, here’s a round up of our blogs and some of the news posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

From our blog:

Adultery, marriage, divorce and Kirk Douglas

Woman with shh fingers and hand around man's head - adultery

 

The late Kirk Douglas was married to his second wife for 65 years, despite having many affairs. Some marriages do last after infidelity, but for most, it's the end of the road.

Our new article explores some of implications of citing adultery in divorce, and how soon that could all change.

 

Step parents: Rio and Kate shine a light on the challenges

woman in kitchen stressed at the change in lifestyle becoming a step parent

 

If you're part of the estimated 7 million step families in the UK, the recent Rio and Kate Ferdinand documentary may have struck a chord.

 

 

 

 

 

From our social media:

Domestic abusers winning time with children by accusing mothers of parental alienation, study finds

More needs to be done to correctly define and recognise 'parental alienation'.

Abusive men are winning time with their children by accusing mothers who have won custody of turning their child against them, a new report has found.

 

Legal services ‘worth £60bn to UK economy’ - report

That's a lot of money to the economy!

 

Children's Mental Health Week

1 in 8 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition. It’s Children's Mental Health Week this week to help raise awareness of the importance of children and young people’s mental health.

 

I've gained a best friend’: readers on getting on with ex-partners after divorce

Divorce doesn't mean it's impossible to be friends. This story shows that it can work.

 

Divorce Bill House of Lords Debate

The debate was earlier in the month today - hopefully the end is near!

 

HMCTS shuts heavily criticised divorce centres

Why?
Due to more work shifting online, the Gazette has learned. HM Courts & Tribunals Service has closed centres which were opened in 2015 but have been heavily criticised by senior judges for delays and inefficiencies.

 

Larry King says 26 year age difference between him and wife ‘Became an issue’

TV host Larry King said: “When there are moments of unhappiness in a marriage, you can overcome it at 40, but at my age, it became a lot.

“I wanted to be happy. Separating was of course difficult. But there is nothing worse than arguing.”

 

Archers storyline reflects need for surrogacy law reform

The Archers do keep up to date with current issues.

 

More than 90,000 people have signed a petition calling on TV networks to do more to support victims of sexual violence.

Rape Crisis sums up the importance of support: If more TV networks agree to adopt these simple new guidelines it could have an enormous impact for survivors of sexual violence across the country.

 

Sharing today’s divorce tip from the child’s perspective

The tips are created by The Family Justice Young People’s Board members, who all have first have experience of family law proceedings.

You can find more information at Cafcass

 

UK’s youngest female judge promoted to full district status aged 34

Good to see young women being recognised.

 

AND FINALLY

Reading's hidden history you probably walk past every day without spotting

Sharing something on our town Reading - some great sights if you seek them out.

Divorce News items for Jan 2020

If you missed what we’ve been sharing last month, here’s a round up of our blogs and some of the news posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

From our blog:

Gold Digger: the middle class façade of happy families

 

We’re you gripped by the TV series "Gold Digger"? It's a terrific drama that peels away the veneer of respectability in middle class life. We've seen all the resulting family law issues first hand here at LGFL.

 

New Year new You

 

Our article explores the impact Christmas can have on an already strained relationship or marriage, and how legal advice is a crucial first step towards separating and getting a divorce.

 

 

 

Men are victims too: the ManKind domestic violence conference

 

The first in a series of new articles on an under-reported and misunderstood issue in modern relationships: domestic violence against men.

 

Breaking up after all these years: celebrity divorce in 2019

Celebrity facing paparazzi

 

Our roundup of the top celebrity divorces of 2019, including a top Hollywood actor divorcing after just a few days of marriage, and a Labrador at the centre of a substantial financial settlement dispute.

 

Men are victims too: domestic violence, emotional abuse and coercive control

man with back to camera

 

Our second article on domestic violence against men looks at the impact of abuse to the, their families and their friends. Director Rita Gupta examines the impact of:
• children witnessing domestic violence
• court action to enforce child arrangements on finances
• coercive control over men

 

 

From our social media:

Three-quarters of domestic abuse victims trying to flee partner hit with ‘insidious’ technological abuse

Three in four domestic abuse victims have been exposed to “controlling, humiliating or monitoring” behaviour by their former partners using technology, new figures show.

 

Lady Hale: 'My Desert Island Judgments? Number one would probably be the prorogation case'

Let's hear it for Lady Hale. This is a great read.

 

Cameras in court risks chucking judges under the bus

Lights, camera… but is there a court for action?

 

Marco Pierre White and estranged wife Matilde in High Court money row

The ongoing saga of chef's separation/divorce and money. Mr White says he cannot afford to pay what he has been ordered to and wants a review.

 

‘Pioneer’ Lady Hale praised ahead of retirement as Supreme Court president

Let's hear it for Lady Hale.
The 1st woman appointed to the Law Commission, the 1st female Law Lord, the 1st female Supreme Court justice and the 1st woman president of the Supreme Court – was “an inspiration to women, and especially to women lawyers”.

 

Conversations - Episode 1

Marking Family Mediation Week.

Listen to the podcast from Family mediation week speaking to members of Family Mediation Council about the results of their 2019 Family Mediation Survey and the benefits of mediation to separating families.

 

Why separate beds are good for your health... and marriage

Bed breaks and their benefits?

 

Man locked in court battle with ex-wife requests trial by combat — but asks judge for 12 weeks to source samurai swords

Trial by combat…with samurai swords? Not the best approach to divorce.

 

Domestic abuse cases abandoned too quickly when victims retreat – study

This article does make for sad reading. Funding issues are having a great impact.
“The domestic abuse caseload for both the CPS and the police has increased by 88% against the backdrop of a 25% reduction in police and CPS funding,”

 

Family judges could get training after row over comments on rape

This is a welcome move, and we fully support this type of training. However, this was a disappointing comment in the light of current research, and a growing acceptance of just how far coercive control and psychological abuse can go.

 

Domestic abusers winning time with children by accusing mothers of parental alienation, study finds

More needs to be done to correctly define and recognise 'parental alienation'.

Abusive men are winning time with their children by accusing mothers who have won custody of turning their child against them, a new report has found.

 

Hounds of love: The rise of pet custody battles in divorce settlements

We do love our pets!

 

Why promoted women are more likely to divorce

The article comes to this summary:

“divorce isn’t always a bad thing. …Getting a divorce doesn’t always need to be the end of the world,…It’s not necessarily ideal to stay with the same person your whole life.”

 

'Marriage Story was stunningly on-point': what divorce lawyers want you to know

Summed up by a nice quote in the article:
“No one really goes in with the right knowledge when they start a divorce. They think it will be quite straightforward – but it never is.”

 

Understanding family justice and protecting the victims of abuse

Interesting to hear the judges viewpoint from the Judge himself.

Celebrity facing paparazzi

Breaking up is never easy to do, but some of the celebs who spilt in 2019 are separating after decades of marriage. However, given that UK divorcing couples are married for an average of 12-and-a-half years (according to the ONS), some celeb marriages have out-lasted the average by a considerable margin. Director Rita Gupta looks back on a year of surprise splits for some long-established couples.

So long, farewell….

Money can’t buy happiness, or at least, sustain a marriage indefinitely. After 25 years together, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos divorced his wife and mother of their four children, Mackenzie Bezos. The settlement? An eye-watering $38billion, until you realise that he’s still worth an estimated $118bn.

To boldly go? 88 year old “Star Trek” actor William Shatner filed for divorce on December 10th, but listed their date of separation as of 1 February. This is Shatner’s fourth divorce.

“Hellboy” actor Ron Perlman filed for divorce from his wife of almost four decades in November 2019. The appropriately named Opal is a jewellery designer, and the couple share two children grown-up children; daughter Blake, 35, and son Brandon, 29.

American politician Sarah Palin is to divorce husband of 31 years, Todd. In his petition, he cited “Incompatibility of temperament between the parties such that they find it impossible to live together as husband and wife.” The couple eloped together in 1988 and have five children: Bristol, Trig, Track, Willow and Piper.

Everyone’s favourite Mr Darcy Colin Firth has split from his wife of 22 years, Livia Giuggiolo. The couple’s split follows a rather odd situation in 2018 when Livia ended an affair with Marco Branaccia. The couple subsequently made a complaint against Mr Branaccia for stalking Livia, a claim he denied.

Just can’t get settled

The ramifications of separation still continue between Ant McPartlin and ex-wife Lisa Armstrong. The couple were married in 2006 and separated in 2018 and filing for divorce. However, the couple have still not reached a settlement. According to The Mirror, “Ant has reportedly made his ex a very generous offer of around half of his £63 million fortune.” Two of the alleged sticking points in the failure to reach an agreement are Ms Armstrong’s refusal to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and the on-going dispute about who gets custody of Hurley, the couple’s beloved Labrador dog.

Divorce tourist? 

Russian oligarch's wife Natalia Potanina tried to claim a third of her husband’s £15 billion wealth through the English courts, having failed to do so through the Russian courts. Natalia took her husband Vladimir Potanin to the High Court after being awarded ‘just’ $41.5 million in Russia. However, Mr Justice Cohen said that Mrs Potanina had received over $84 million, plus $7.3 million in child maintenance and that

“If the claim were allowed to proceed, there would be effectively no limit to 'divorce tourism'”. Accordingly, he dismissed her application"

Partners and parents

Actor Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk split up in early 2019, resulting in action to secure a joint custody arrangement to co-parent their daughter, Lea De Seine, aged 2.

Another couple needing to settle child arrangements were Joey Fatone and Kelly Baldwin, who filed for divorce in May 2019. Fatone was the deep voice in the band boyband NSYNC and co-starred in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding “.

Grammy-award winning singer Adele and Simon Konecki split but in a statement to The Associated Press, confirmed that they were both "committed to raising their son (Angelo, 6) together lovingly."

Former husband to Roseanne Barr, Tom Arnold split from his fourth wife Ashley Groussman after 10 years of marriage. The couple have two children aged 5 and 3, and Arnold has been quoted as saying that: “Because I’m a father, I genuinely have the best life I’ve ever had.”

Short but sweet?

Actor Nicolas Cage and make-up artists Erika Koike filed for a marriage license on March 23 2019. However, according to the Metro newspaper, just four days later, the actor applied for an annulment as he was ‘too drunk’ to understand he was marrying Erika. They were divorced just two months later. This was Cage’s fourth marriage, having been married to first wife Patricia Arquette for 6 years, second wife Lisa Marie Presley for 3 months, and third wife Alice Kim for 12 years.

And the most eligible divorcees are…

Society magazine Tatler has named the most 'eligible, worldly, unattached' and ' most glamorous gang in town', which includes:

  • Sheherazade Goldsmith, ex-wife of Minister of State and MP Zak.
  • Musician Mark Ronson
  • Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich
  • Tessy Antony De Nassau, the ex-wife of Prince Louis of Luxembourg
  • Frances Osborne, ex-wife of former Chancellor George Osborne and full-time author

 

Divorce without the drama

If you’re looking for a discreet divorce and fair financial settlement out of the spotlight, contact us. We have extensive experience in separation and divorce for high net worth individuals and business people and our non-London, countryside location ensures complete confidentiality and privacy.

Call us to meet one of our Directors and discuss your own situation.