Friday, 29 July 2011

Personal injury damages and divorce settlements

A 41-year old accident victim has lost his appeal against an earlier court decision awarding his ex-wife a large proportion of personal injury damages he received before the couple met.  It is reported that Kevin Mansfield was ordered to pay his ex-wife £285,000 from compensation of £500,000 to enable her to purchase a house suitable for her and the couple’s two children.  It is understood that Mrs Mansfield must, however, pay back £95,000 when and if she remarries or when their youngest child reaches a certain age (some 14 years hence).
When deciding a divorce settlement, the court will look at all the available financial resources, including the parties’ income, savings, property assets and pensions.  Personal injury damages are not given special treatment and the funds will be as relevant as the equity in a property or the balance of a bank account.
This does not mean that compensation monies will be always distributed equally.  The court will look at the specific circumstances of each case and try to balance the needs of both parties, with a particular focus on the needs of any children, as appears to have happened in Mr Mansfield’s case.
Mr Mansfield’s situation is an extreme one but the case does not change the law so much as clarify the divorce advice family law solicitors have been giving their clients for many years.  The case highlights the need to take family law advice when going through a divorce, contemplating marriage, or considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement, especially if personal injury damages have been paid out or are awaited.

Should divorce be a blame game?

It is reported that there has been a 12% increase in divorces in New York since their Divorce Law was changed in October to allow no fault divorce. Some may suggest this means getting a divorce is too easy.
In England the grounds for divorce require fault unless you are prepared to wait 2 years for your divorce. Waiting that long can prevent people from moving on with their lives and also means the financial divorce settlement  cannot be finalised. This can put people at risk.
The need, however, for someone to be blamed to get a divorce is often incredibly unhelpful particularly when children are involved. Inevitably it can increase hostility at a time when divorce solicitors are trying to keep things as amicable as possible. If the divorce lawyers have to argue about who is to blame it also increases costs.
Many family law solicitors therefore believe that no fault divorce law should also be introduced in England.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Celebrities can suffer abuse too

Celebrities are not exempt from enduring domestic abuse when their relationships break down.

Taylor Armstrong who has recently petitioned for divorce alleged during an interview with People that she was verbally and physically abused during her marriage to Russell Armstrong. We witnessed a flavour of their matrimonial difficulties on the TV show 'Real Housewives of Beverley Hills'.

Unfortunately, allegations of domestic violence are common when parties are considering their divorce and subsequent financial settlement.

Despite the difficulties both parties are now focussing on the care of their daughter which is a sensible way forward.

For more divorce advice follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Russian Wife who clearly received excellent Divorce Advice

There has been tremendous media attention over last few days regarding the divorce settlement which Ms Besharova’s divorce solicitors have secured on her behalf following her divorce from Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. It is reported that the settlement is in excess of £100 million. A record in Britain.

It is not only the amount, however, that is interesting. Ms Besharova and Mr Berezovsky only lived together for 2 years of their 18 year marriage. Under the divorce law in this country, however, this would still be considered a long marriage and entitle a wife to a substantial share of her husband’s assets.

Although the couple are both Russian because they live in England they have grounds for divorce proceedings here. It is likely the divorce advice received by Ms Besharova would have been that a financial settlement in England would be considerably greater than that which she could secure in Russia.

Read more divorce advice on our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.