I'm a celebrity divorcee, get me out of here!
- AuthorLucy Phipps
He already shares half of his wealth with double-act best friend Dec, so will Ant McPartlin now be required (or agree) to share that half again with estranged wife Lisa Armstrong?
The announcement that one of TV's best loved presenters is separating from his long-term partner and wife of 11 years has taken the tabloids by storm this week. Headlines such as the pair “battling for custody over their beloved dog” and “record pay-out of £31m expected” have filled the gossip columns but is it true that she will automatically receive half of everything?
The marriage is, in the eyes of the law, a long one and so the starting point in such cases is for there to be an equal split of the capital assets (property, savings, investments etc.). However, dividing assets is not as straightforward as that; you are required to consider whether such a split would meet both parties’ reasonable needs and whether there are any special contributions or compensatory factors to take into account.
Ryan Giggs’s divorce raised the question about whether his football skills, which allowed him to earn the money he did throughout his career, amount to a special contribution such that he should receive more than 50%?
It is likely that the lawyers for Ant McPartlin will be raising the same questions during his proceedings.
In cases such as this, where one party has made such a significant contribution to the marital wealth, which is undisputable, the Court will generally ask: was the contribution exceptional?
The Court does not generally differentiate between the party who goes out to work and the party who looks after the home and the children. This is seen as a partnership and an agreement to support the family by taking on differing roles.
However, for cases involving such vast wealth and where there is no dispute that reasonable needs can be met from the assets, as in Ant’s case, an argument for a split in his favour is more likely to be successful.