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Acrimonious Divorces Need Preventative Action

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Destructive court fights are wrecking lives and separating couples have to find a way to part amicably for the good of their welfare, claims a regional family law expert.

Simon Leach, of Family Law Group speaking at the start of Family Dispute resolution week said he hoped the much publicised battle of a wealthy couple who squandered near a million pounds on a court battle, would also cement the importance of finding amicable agreements.

“Court battles are costly in more ways than financial and nasty partings can eat away at not only the couples, but everyone associated with them,” said Mr Leach. “Often lives are ruined by the seething anger, feeling of injustice and all-consuming nature of acrimonious splits that as much as possible have to be avoided to ensure as cordial a parting as possible is taken.”

Mr Leach’s comments come as professional body, Resolution, promotes Family Dispute Resolution Week, promoting a non-confrontational way of separating without the need for court battles.

It also coincides with the finalisation of a case of an anonymous couple who squandered £920,000 of their £3m fortune on lawyers and experts.

Following the case, where the couple are known as J and J to protect their identity, the judge, Mr Justice Mostyn, one of the UK’s most eminent judges, said he was determined to start a process to curb legal costs.

In a three year battle so many reports were commissioned that the court was presented with evidence comprising 12 files.

Mr Leach said couples splitting need to try to take a long-term view of what is happening.

“It’s difficult when there can be so much emotion, but the simple fact is talking to experts and trying to work on a cordial strategy means everyone can move on with their lives sooner,” he said. “As this sad court case proves, in lengthy battles both parties end up feeling like the losers.”