The Divorce Racket

With the lull in the Britney Spears endless psychotic episode, Brits can turn their attention to these shores for the continuing saga of the divorce between Sir Paul and Lady McCartney. This is a case wherein the term “lady” is certainly a case of form over substance.

I’m not usually one for celebrity news or gossip. However as a lawyer I have been keeping an eye on this one for the precedents it may set. Heather is about to get £55 million for four years of putting up with a luxury lifestyle, though that may be part of the problem. Sir Paul is worth a little bit less than £1 billion but he doesn’t live like it. I mean, he doesn’t live like poor folks, but perhaps Heather was expecting to tap into it a bit more.

But I’m straying into the gossip. What isn’t gossip is that divorce is a lucrative racket. Susan Sangster is getting her fourth divorce. She’s amasses a fortune from her previous marriages and was looking to improve on it after just 14 months. She had hoped to get her pre-nup invalidated, but when she found out that wasn’t going to happen, she decided to cut her losses and run. Probably into the arms of husband number five.

Writing in today’s Daily Mail, Amanda Platell has an insightful commentary on the injustice of modern divorce. It is something that may be a developing phenomenon here, but old hat in the States. Even though I never had a case involving particularly rich clients, the injustice climbs right down the socio-economic ladder. It is one of the reasons I’m glad I don’t practise anymore.

Divorce is the only no-fault breach of contract. In any other cases, if one party wanted to just dissolve the arrangement against the wishes of the other, the breaching party would be responsible to the non-breaching party. In divorce, the breaching party can walk out of the contract without cause and take the other to the cleaners. Hopefully the courts won’t let Heather Mills do this.

Now if we could only get rid of no-fault divorce.

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3 Responses to “The Divorce Racket”

  1. John of Indiana Says:

    Considering that all I got out my last divorce was the clothes on my back, an old VW bus, emotional problems that are STILL not resolved, and this was for NINE years of faithful service.
    I’d say Heather’s being more than a little bit piggy…

  2. Michael Says:

    I felt genuinely bad for the poetic injustice of their marriage falling apart just in time for Paul’s 64th birthday.

  3. Ann Marie Says:

    I feel like Paul is being very generous with that settlement. I have been following this story since it’s inception on http://www.firstwivesworld.com, and have learned some very interesting things. It makes me wonder because they are both taking such opposites sides of the spectrum in regards to this divorce. He seems to be attempting to keep it as underwraps and nonpublic as possible “for their daugher” as stated. She is jumping up and practically screaming making it so public, or so it seems.
    Just my two cents
    Ann Marie


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