You may have read about the concern expressed by Mr Justice Holman recently at the level of costs incurred in a case involving Sir Andrew Cook – the Conservative party donor who is currently going through a divorce and trying to resolve financial issues. It’s a salutary tale to all involved in resolving issues following the breakdown of a marriage.
Mr Justice Holman accused Sir Andrew and his estranged wife of being “utterly ridiculous” in running up a legal bill of £1million after the breakdown of their three year marriage, in respect of which the assets available to be divided between them are £2million. The High Court Judge urged them to call a truce given the “very, very disproportionate” amount of costs to assets.
The case serves as an important reminder to look at alternative mechanisms for resolution of financial matters following the breakdown of a marriage: the most effective of which, in my view, is a private Financial Dispute Resolution appointment allowing agreement to be reached earlier than in conventional court proceedings and often saving not only costs but the acrimony and angst which often follows.
This approach is on the rise in the North West. Its attraction lies in the speed of the process. It is tailored to achieve an outcome as unique as every couple who uses it as a way of resolving the issues they face following the breakdown of their marriage.
As Judges so often say – reaching an out of court settlement that is reasonable and fair – allows everyone involved to move on in a way that is not at all cost.
If you are considering a divorce or have already taken the first steps in court proceedings and would like some legal advice on the division of assets, including Financial Dispute Resolution, please get in touch with Farleys’ experienced family law team who can advise you on your next steps. Call 0845 287 0939 or email us through our online contact form.