High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge launched his new Marriage Foundation today in a bid to lower the numbers of relationships that end in divorce.
The independent charity will declare marriage to be the “gold standard for relationships,” according to reports, coming up with practical assistance and suggesting government policies to reduce divorce levels.
Speaking on BBC radio, Sir Paul declared divorce to be “one of the most destructive scourges of our time” and was partly due to “a ‘Hello! magazine’ attitude to marriage,” to which he added: “I am not knocking Hello! magazine. I read it frequently. I normally find people in there are within my court with a year or two.”
Sir Paul sits in the Family Division of the High Court, a familiar venue for divorce lawyers throughout the decades. He has frequently spoken out on the issue of marriage and family breakdown – and estimates that some 3.8 million children were embroiled in the family justice system every year due to divorce.
Government figures show that marriage rates have decreased by over 50 per cent in the past 40 years.…
This week saw yet another “fairy tale” celebrity marriage bite the dust, when Latino singer Marc Anthony filed for divorce from Latina singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.
The move gives the official seal to the announcement the couple made in July 2011 that they were splitting up after a seven-year marriage.
The 43-year-old Mr Antony filed the divorce petition using his real name of Marco Muniz in the Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, in the document he states that “irreconcilable differences” are the reason for the divorce. He is also filing for joint legal and physical custody of their four-year-old twins Max and Emme.
The split, although apparently irreconcilable, has been friendly so far, which is one positive aspect of the break-up. All too often celebrity marriages end in divorce, and the more bitter struggles are a bonanza for Hollywood divorce lawyers.
In this case, the problem may have been that the couple married in haste – with the nuptials taking place in June 2004, mere months after the end of Ms Lopez’s engagement to actor Ben Affleck and just days after Mr Anthony’s divorce from former Miss Puerto Rico Dayanara Torres…
The London Evening Standard reported this week how the flood of super-rich residents from overseas are making London the “divorce capital of the world”, with multi-billion pound legal actions being brought by celebrities and eastern European oligarchs.
The paper said that a combination of the UK’s low tax regime for the rich and the highly-regarded nature of the family courts system has led to a surge in “divorce tourism,” with “star divorce lawyers” raking in massive fees from clients such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and record £48 million divorcee Beverley Charman.
Another big name divorce lawyer is Fiona Shackleton, who most know of for having a jug of water emptied over her head by Heather Mills when she was Sir Paul McCartney’s counsel in his divorce case – but who has also helped the divorces of luminaries such as the Duke and Duchess of York.
Divorce lawyer Ayesha Vardag acted for German heiress Katrin Radmacher when she sought a divorce in 2010, and she told the Standard that “England’s global reputation for giving generous payouts to wives has also made it an attractive jurisdiction in which to file for divorce.”…
Britain’s most senior family law judge has declared its time for no-fault divorce to be the standard form of divorce in the UK.
Sir Nicholas Wall, who is president of the High Court Family Division, said that there was “no good arguments against no-fault divorce” that he could see.
Currently divorce law in England and Wales means that a person has to file a divorce petition in court stating that their marriage has broken down, citing one of five reasons – adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion after two years, two years’ separation with consent or five years’ separation without consent. If both parties do not dispute these grounds and the court agrees, then a decree nisi is drawn up, followed by a decree absolute, which ends the marriage.
Plans were drawn up for no-fault divorces in 1996, but scrapped before implementation.
Speaking to a conference of family lawyers, Sir Nicholas said: “In the 19th Century and for much of the 20th, divorce was a matter of social status – it mattered whether you were divorced or not, and if you were, it was important to demonstrate that you were the ‘innocent party’. All that, I think, has gone.”…