Paul Hollywood case highlights some of the myths of divorce

In the last few days the breakdown of the marriage of the celebrity chef and television presenter Paul Hollywood has been in the news, occupying many column-inches in the popular press. However, as with so many celebrity divorces, the stories perpetuate various common myths surrounding divorce.

The stories all refer to Mr Hollywood’s new relationship with a 24 year old woman, and speculate that his wife Alex will issue divorce proceedings on the basis of his adultery. However, we are told, Mr Hollywood denies that he has committed adultery, as the relationship only began after he and his wife separated. We don’t know whether this report is true, but it does highlight a myth about adultery: that it can only happen if the husband and wife are still living together. This is simply wrong: adultery is still adultery even if they are separated.

The stories also suggest that Mr Hollywood’s adultery could have a bearing upon any financial settlement. Again, this is a myth. Adultery has no bearing whatsoever. In fact, the conduct of the parties only has a bearing in an extremely small number of cases, when it is especially bad.

The other myth comes from the report that Mrs Hollywood is seeking to “have her day in court”, where she can finally have her “say over the end of their 20-year marriage”, following the breakdown of mediation between the parties regarding financial matters. This suggests that she will have an opportunity “get her own back”, by blaming her husband in court for the breakdown of the marriage. She will not. If the parties are not able to resolve financial matters by agreement, there will be a financial remedies hearing, but the court will not be interested in the reasons for the breakdown of the marriage, as they are not relevant to the issue of any financial settlement.

If you would like advice regarding the factors that are relevant to any financial settlement, Family Law Cafe can provide it. To book a free initial consultation with us click the green button at the top of this page and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

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Family Law Cafe offers a modern, agile and compassionate approach to family law, giving you a helping hand when you need it and guiding you through the complexities of this difficult and stressful area.

Image of Paul Hollywood by Tim Fields [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.