it doesn't have to end in Court...
Further to the unfolding saga regarding the
sudden separation of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes; whilst given the
profile of the individuals, all reports must be read with some
speculation as to their accuracy. It was clear that concerns about
influences on their six-year-old daughter heavily contributed to
Katie Holmes leaving the marriage and seeking sole 'custody' of
Suri. Interestingly though, it was the parties' joint
overwhelming and primary concern for Suri's welfare that appears to
have enabled them to amicably agree a full financial settlement
with the assistance of reputable and sensible lawyers and avoid the
unpleasantness that a public court case would have resulted in.
When any couple separate, many believe that
the Court is the only place that matters can be settled but this is
not so. Having a Judge in the UK decide how the results of
your marriage are to be divided can be unsatisfactory for both
parties and can ultimately see assets eroded in legal fees that may
be avoided if both parties are willing to be sensible, to
compromise and be guided by experienced lawyers.
There are now many different alternatives that
couples can try before proceeding to Court. These include
mediation, collaborative law and straightforward discussions
between the parties with individual guidance from their own
lawyers. These options, when circumstantially appropriate, can
be successful and allow the parties to achieve a result that suits
their own priorities and not have an independent Judge decide,
often in a matter of hours, what is best for them.
Furthermore, when children are involved in a separation, the
quicker matters can be agreed, the more the parties are able to
focus on helping their children through the inevitable changes
In stark contrast, the court case of an
American entrepreneur, Mark Evans and his estranged wife, Jenifer
Evans has headed to the Court of Appeal where a senior Judge, Mr
Justice Thorpe, has likened the couple to 'squabbling children' and
criticised the disproportionate sums spent on legal fees dealing
Two very different couples dealing with the
breakdowns of their marriages in very different ways. Every case is
different but surely being sensible and being willing to compromise
whatever route you choose is best for everyone involved.