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Divorce should not be like a "boxing match"

View profile for Georgina Stavrou
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“It’s awful. Don’t you think it’s awful? It’s like a boxing match”. Those were words of Mr Justice Holman in the Family Division of the High Court last week, upon hearing the evidence in the Fields multi-million pound contested divorce battle.

In the one corner, Ekaterina Fields the 42 year old twice married former Russian beauty queen seeking a £2.6 million share of the parties estimated £6 million assets plus £750,000 per year. In the opposite corner Richard Fields, the 59 year old five-times married successful American lawyer who claims that his wife only married him for his money. According to Mr Fields his wife made him pay her £500,000 before they had even commenced their relationship, which he did because he was “madly in love”.

The parties in this case were married for approximately 10 years, and although the Decree Nisi had been pronounced in 2013, proceedings were still ongoing as the parties could not agree on the financial settlement. The matter was brought before Mr Justice Holman last week who urged the parties to try to negotiate a settlement so as to avoid further legal costs. Mr Justice Holman asked the parties to “Think about what each of (them) could have done with (the) £1 million pounds” already spent on legal fees. He added that the ongoing proceedings were “...very, very unedifying.” Last week’s hearing was adjourned until this week where final speeches are expected to be delivered by each party’s legal team ahead of Mr Justice Holman’s decision.

This case is yet another reminder of how parties become embroiled in contentious and expensive litigation over a long period of time somewhat losing sight of reality and the main issues at hand. It’s clear that Mr Justice Holman was trying to make the parties see that divorce does not have to be this way and that ultimately they will be the ones losing out having to pay for such expensive litigation. It will be interesting to see Mr Justice Holman’s judgement in this case.  

On a separate note, both parties have indicated that they are looking to remarry after these proceedings have concluded. Perhaps they may wish to consider entering into a pre-nuptial agreement beforehand in order to mitigate a possible repetitive scenario in the future?

If you are going through a relationship breakdown, or if you are considering entering into a pre-nuptial agreement, and you require legal advice, please contact our specialist family lawyers on 020 7935 3522.