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Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Peter and Jordan circus stumbles towards finale


I hoped beyond hope it had now died away the remainder of the wrangling over the high-profile divorce of Katie Price and Peter Andre would be settled with dignity behind closed doors. However, I read in reports today that the estranged couple will face each other in court this week when details of their marriage and reasons behind the split will be laid bare. Each has lined up friends and family members as witnesses to back their cases.

In a writ, Andre claims damages for comments made in a magazine article and on BBC2's Graham Norton Show last October. Price suggested Andre and his manager Claire Powell were an item, which they completely deny. The writ also details how Price was asked in a magazine to comment on Andre's music.

The couple have two young children. And as I have said before in my musings, it is really they who will lose as a result of this. There will be no winners. In my opinion, both parties are very happy to further their own careers by being in the headlines, whatever the reason for them being there. However, such a public battle does nothing to help them move on with their lives after the divorce and the children, while too young to really understand the details of what will be in the media, will still see mummy and daddy slinging muck at each other in a very public place. That has to be bad for them.

At Woolley & Co, we are regularly asked for advice on the most sensitive way to tell the children that their mum and dad are separating, and among the most important bits of advice is: don’t use the divorce as an opportunity to bad-mouth the other party. Children will still love both their parents and need input from both. Deliberately painting a less-than-rosy of a soon-to-be-ex spouse is not fair on the children.

You also need to be prepared for lots of questions, explain how it will affect them and reassure them it has nothing to do with them – but not muck-raking is fairly central to having a constructive relationship going forward for the sake of the children.

Peter and Jordan have obviously not read this column (!) as what they are doing could not be less constructive. Despite this being a legal case because Peter’s feelings have been hurt rather than an integral party of their messy divorce, the sooner it is over the sooner the children can get on with things – and we can stop reading about this couple in the papers.

Andrew Woolley
Divorce Solicitor


Loading comments...

Do you think increased media access would make it better or worse? Sometimes I think if clients really understood how difficult it was going to be they might think twice before turning a disagreement of contact / residence into a bitterly fought war between parents….

By Zoe Strandquist on Wednesday October 6, 2010

My fear is that people who become entrenched (who tend to be the people who end up actually in Court) might find it even harder to “be seen to back down” if they knew that this would be reported upon by the media, thus public knowledge.

That said, let’s face it, the media is only interested in the unusual, salacious or “celebrity” cases. Pity as this gives most of us a distorted image of what a divorce is actually like. ...

By Andrew Woolleya on Wednesday October 6, 2010

I believe that educating the public is essential and this isn’t going to be achieved by the usual marketing techiques of “getting a divorce? come to us”.

We need to be very subtle over a long period of time, and I understand that in the pipe line for Jan 2011 is a concerted effort to progress this. We need to first get the public into forward focused thinking; ie. in 10 years time when they look back on what’s happening now, how do they want their children to remember what happened? Peter and Katie would be wise to consider this.

Once the parties are thinking about the potential future consequences of their actions, we can then explore with them the methods of Appropriate Dispute Resolution to try; including meditation, collaborative, other roundtable meetings, or perhaps a combination, with going to court as the “alternative” method of sorting the problems out.

But I agree that ADR doesn’t make a juicy story for the media and so doesn’t sell papers. However, we need the media’s help to get this radically new message out.

By Colin Mitchell on Wednesday October 6, 2010

What do you think?

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