The news this week is that hedge fund billionaire Sir Chris Hohn is set to pay his American-born ex-wife $530m in what is thought to be the biggest divorce settlement ever awarded by an English court.
Is Marcia Mediation surprised?
Billionaire spouses want to argue that their extraordinary earning power allows the matrimonial assets to be split at something other than the usual 50/50. In this Case Sir Chris was looking for a 75/25 split. The judge here ruled that both parties had invested equally in the marriage, not least in terms of parenting four children including triplets. And whilst he ran the hedge fund, his wife ran the couple’s $4.3bn Children’s Investment Fund Foundation which is one of the world’s top private charities devoted to fighting child poverty. Applying a somewhat trite principal of law he ordered that the proceeds should have been split 50/50. The costs ran into millions. Mr Justice Holman wondered out loud
So does Marcia Mediation.
A successful mediation would have invited both sides to ponder the most likely outcome should the matter proceed to trial. Answer : a 50/50 division of the assets.
A successful mediation would have invited both sides to ponder the costs of a fully contested hearing. Answer: millions.
The answers to these questions might have prompted a more satisfactory solution. An agreement at 50/50, or perhaps slightly more in husbands favour to avoid litigation risk and certainly less cost.
And it would have done much more. It would have facilitated a process by which each party was empowered to participate in the solution process rather than have a solution imposed upon them. There would have been no winners and no losers.
Mediation would have been much more positive process, replacing acrimony with a desire to move forward rather than backwards, in the best interests of all concerned.
Please contact Marcia Lister on 07791560161 Marcia@marciamediation.co.uk to find out how Mediation can resolve your conflicts in the best interests of all involved.