In the London family court the exceptional divorce settlement of £453 million together with an Aston Martin worth £350,000 and an art collection valued at £90 million, granted to the wife of a foreign billionaire oil and gas trader supports the contention that London, the divorce capital of the world, is the best place to divorce for some people at least.
The couple involved are both foreign nationals but have lived in London since 1993. The judge found that their long marriage, whilst marred by infidelity on both sides, amounted to a “subsisting marriage” notwithstanding the affairs which the marriage clearly survived. The judge also noted that the family wealth had been built up during the course of the marriage by contributions from both sides.
The London courts are noted for fairness towards the financially weaker spouse and many individuals who can demonstrate a sufficient connection with the UK, usually women, from around Europe are choosing to divorce in London.
The starting point for the financial arrangements arising from a divorce is 50/50 with child rearing and homemaking considered of equal importance to breadwinning. There is the added feature of being able to keep the details of both the people involved and the amount of the award private. Bernie Eccelstone’s somewhat surprising financial settlement following his divorce from his ex-wife Slavica was only revealed during the course of another legal matter and would have remained confidential had he not been forced to disclose it to the German courts.
There is a further advantage for a foreign spouse which arises post-divorce in that should your divorce have taken place abroad and the financial settlement was clearly unfair due to cultural bias towards men or lack of funds to enable proper representation, Part III of the Matrimonial & Family Proceeding Act 1984 (MFPA 1984) provides an opportunity, if all the residential and other criteria are met, to vary the financial arrangements to make a fairer settlement in the London courts. So a divorced spouse can re-visit the financial terms of their divorce and obtain a better deal.
For more information about divorce or post-divorce settlements please contact clientservices@giambronelaw.