Friday, 28 October 2011

Jeremy Clarkson alleged to have had affair with former wife

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has come under fire for allegedly having an affair with his former wife, Alexandra Hall, whilst married to his current wife, Frances. He is said to have revealed himself as one of the super-injunction celebrities in a move to make the claims public.

The Daily Mail, in reporting the story, advises that if men want to protect their reputation, they should behave. But is it just men who are guilty of having affairs? In my experience of drafting divorce petitions, men are no more likely to have affairs than women. And a recent survey by a leading firm of accountants found that, for the first year since the survey began, having an affair slipped to the second most cited ground for divorce; the most common cited ground was simply growing apart or falling out of love.

And the implications for Mr Clarkson? A divorce settlement which will no doubt make the headlines.

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

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Domestic violence and new government proposals

The press have today reported upon new government proposals which would give people the power to find out from the police if a new partner has a history of domestic violence. It follows a campaign by the father of a woman killed by her ex-boyfriend.
The Home Office are launching a consultation which asks whether the protection of victims of domestic violence can be improved by the establishment of a national domestic violence disclosure scheme and how it would work in practice. More details can be found on the home office website and the closing date for responses is 13th January 2012.
Of course victims of domestic violence are men and women alike and protection from the court can be obtained in certain circumstances. Pannone LLP can provide sensitive and constructive advice on such issues and we can be contacted on 0800 840 4929 or by clicking You can also read more at  

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Husband receives share of wife's lottery win.

It has been reported that a hotel porter has won a chunk of his ex-wife's £500,000 National Lottery win after a High Court fight.
According to the Daily Mail, Justice Mostyn concluded that the prize was 'non-matrimonial property' but when the wife used some of it to buy a house she converted 'part of her non-matrimonial assets into matrimonial property'. This decision is the first case concerning the treatment of a lottery win 'in financial remedy proceedings following divorce' by a judge in England.
Any money built up during a marriage is normally considered a joint asset. It should be noted that the husband was not awarded half of the winnings. The particular circumstances led the judge to award the husband a lump sum of £85,000. There is a suggestion that the outcome is unfair as it will encourage husbands and wives to try and keep their own wealth separate from joint funds to avoid their spouse receiving an equal share.
Most cases will still be determined by the needs of the parties. It remains of crucial importance to ensure a consent order is drawn up recording the terms of any financial agreement reached between spouses. The absence of a consent order could result in a spouse receiving a share of any future lottery winnings.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts

Monday, 17 October 2011

Phones so smart they provide grounds for divorce

A New York husband claims to have used an App secretly installed on his wife’s new iphone 4S to prove that she has been seeing another man.

The screen shot from the ‘Find My Friends’ App posted by Mr Metz on the Macrumours website appears to show his wife in a very different location to that indicated by her text message to him.

Although Mr Metz’s comments on the site indicate he considers this gives him grounds for divorce there could be many reasons why she has not told him where she has been. He should ensure he takes divorce advice before taking any further steps.

Mr Metz also appears to think he will receive a substantial divorce settlement as he states on the website that his wife is ‘the rich one’.

Divorce law is, however, complicated and there are many factors which govern how a financial divorce settlement is reached.

The smart move would be to find an App to locate a specialist family law solicitor to provide him with expert divorce advice.

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

Thursday, 13 October 2011

21st Century Marriage

According to statistics revealed by the Daily Mail today, in 25% of marriages the wife earns more than her husband.
In addition, there are an increasing number of cases where the wife is the breadwinner and the husband the homemaker. Gone are the days of the traditional gender roles. The current economic situation and standard of living now dictate the roles of the husband and wife. This can place huge pressure on a marriage.
When any relationship ends, the courts have difficult decisions to make. Previously the court would assume that any children would remain with their mother and provide for contact with their father. Now, no assumptions are made and there are many cases where there is either a shared care arrangement or the children remain with their father and have contact with their mother.  
When determining the financial aspects of a divorce, the courts look at several criteria including the needs of the parties, their resources and contributions to the marriage. The intention is that a settlement which is fair to all parties is reached. This can now mean that wives end up paying their husbands maintenance.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog, follow us on Twitter @Divorce_experts.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

‘Fake’ divorces on the rise in China’s property bubble

Financial issues usually feature centrally in a couple’s decision to divorce.  Falling house prices in the UK have recently had a negative effect on the number of divorcing couples.  The family home is frequently the biggest asset; if it doesn’t sell then finalising a divorce can be difficult, particularly if one party can’t afford to purchase the other’s interest.

Lindsay Kinnealy, Head of Overseas Property Law at Pannone Solicitors, reports in the Overseas Property Professional magazine next month that despite China (in common with many countries) having put in place fiscal austerity measures, somewhat paradoxically there has arisen a “housing bubble” leading to some areas placing a “two properties per family” restriction on house purchases.  In other areas only one property can be owned.

To get round this restriction couples are reportedly faking a divorce so they can register additional properties under their different names.  It is alleged that “fake divorce certificates are being produced … with the encouragement of banks and real estate agents”.  Apparently the phenomenon has even made it into a Chinese soap “reflecting their property bubble fears with characters struggling to raise a mortgage”.

It is difficult to envisage such a shift happening in the UK, with most people simply bedding in during this prolonged economic downturn.  However, it is more difficult to “fake” a marriage and if a divorce is inevitable it is worth seeking divorce advice now in anticipation of the long awaited recovery.

For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog, follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts or call Pannone Solicitors on 0800 840 4929.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

The Nightmare of Parental Child Abduction

A recent report in the Irish press highlighted the increasing frequency of child abductions, including parental child abduction, which is probably not surprising in these days of relatively cheap and easy foreign travel and  more 'cross border 'marriages.
Sadly, as all Family Law solicitors giving divorce advice know all too well, these cases often involve a separating or divorcing couple where one parent takes a child out of the country without agreement or refuses to return with the child after a holiday abroad.
When this happens it can be a terrifying ordeal for the 'left behind' parent. The law on this type of case is specialist and complex and can vary according to where the child has been taken. But there are steps that can be taken by a child abduction solicitor to bring the child home and it is vital that when this happens the right legal steps are taken straight away.
For more advice on child abduction and all aspects of divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts "

Monday, 3 October 2011

Temporary Marriage

It has been reported in the press today that due to the high rate of divorce within two years of marriage in Mexico City, the city's assembly is proposing reforming divorce law so that couples marrying can decide the length of their marriage, subject to a minimum term of two years. 
The marriage contract could be renewed if the couple remain happy.  The contract will apparently include provisions on how children and financial settlements would be handled if the couple separate. The aim is to avoid the divorce process.
The idea of a fixed term marriage seems quite alien but the concept of a marriage contract appears in line with having a pre-nuptial agreement. Such agreements are designed to enable couples to decide at the outset of their marriage how they would wish to deal with money and children should they separate.
For more advice on divorce follow our family law blog or follow us on Twitter@Divorce_experts