More lessons for all from the McPartlin divorce

We have written here about this before, but the divorce of TV presenter Ant McPartlin and his wife Lisa Armstrong continues to provide valuable lessons for anyone going through a divorce, including those who do not enjoy such celebrity status.

Here are two quotes from a story about the divorce that appeared in the popular press this week:

“Ant McPartlin’s estranged wife ‘rejects multi-million pound divorce settlement in favour of taking him to court so they can settle their differences in public'”

And:

“Lisa Armstrong ‘still wants her day in court'”

We cannot comment upon the accuracy of these statements, but they do demonstrate popular misconceptions about how the courts deal with financial remedy claims on divorce, and about how best to pursue such claims.

Firstly, financial remedy hearings are not necessarily heard in public. In fact, the starting-point is that they are held in private, meaning that the general public have no right to be present. Members of the press are generally entitled to be present, but the court may restrict what they can report.

The second lesson is that insisting upon having your ‘day in court’ is almost certainly not the best way to resolve a claim. In fact, the court itself will try to encourage the parties to settle before the matter reaches a final hearing, and will take a dim view of anyone who does not make a reasonable effort to settle.

You can never guarantee that you will receive a more favourable settlement if you go to court, and there is of course the additional issue of the legal costs to consider. Far better to make every reasonable effort to settle the case by agreement, possibly via mediation.

If you require detailed advice regarding a financial remedies claim, Family Law Café can help you find it. To contact us, click the Contact link above and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

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Image of Anthony McPartlin by Ben Salter (From Flickr) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.