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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Fawlty logic?

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I’ve produced a Blog or two before about the effect of the recession on divorce settlements - Money worries increase the divorce rate and Credit crunch causing divorce problems.

In them I concentrated on either the divorce itself or the financial settlement which normally is a reference to the distribution of the investments, housing values and pensions of the couple. But of course there is also maintenance. In some cases that can be a huge monthly sum and in the case of John Cleese, it was £1.3 million a year.

But due to the recession he has just been able to reduce the payments by half. That is a very major reduction but given the amount to pay is often linked roughly to how much someone earns, then it must be right to, say, reduce it by half if say their income reduces by a half. Of course the problems arise mainly when we are talking about “average” people when there is a clear need to reduce but to do so would mean the recipient being on much less than they need to pay the bills.

It is often the case that legal costs can increase along with the arguments where people are well off and can afford to argue about large sums and also when people are not well off and can’t afford to pay or accept less.

In my opinion this often means that a divorce lawyer needs to use lateral thinking and involve a chartered financial planner at an early stage. Discussion and careful planning of a divorce settlement are often a better approach than aggressive wrangling in Court.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce solicitor

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