Celebrity couple Madonna and Guy Ritchie are to be represented by two of the biggest names in divorce law.
Ritchie is to be represented by Helen Ward of Manches while Madonna has hired Fiona Shackleton of Payne Hicks Beach. Ward is known for securing the Beverley Charman’s record breaking £48 million payout while Shackleton has most recently made the press thanks to her representation of Sir Paul McCartney in his court room battle with Heather Mills.
Divorce lawyers are now speculating about the consequences of a pre-nuptial agreement, the use of collaborative law and the place of the couple’s children in the dispute.
The Head of Family at Dawsons LLP, divorce lawyer Suzanne Kingston, has said that if there is a pre-nuptial agreement and reports that Ritchie wishes to resolve matters amicably are true then the divorce could be settled without the media circus that the McCartney-Mills split entailed.
According to Kingston a prenuptial agreement would be “a potentially significant factor in how the assets would be divided”. She also goes on to says that the divorce could be ripe for the use of a collaborative process. “There are many benefits to this approach,” Kingston explains. “One incentive for this particular couple is that this could be dealt with confidentially and privately in one of the offices of the solicitors rather than the court.”
Despite the potential for financial concerns to be easily resolved, Kingston warns that there could still be great dispute over the children. “This is particularly the case since Madonna has signalled she may wish to return to the US,” Kingston elaborates, “in which case she would require Guy’s consent in relation to Rocco and David.”
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