Tuesday, August 14, 2018
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Industry Updates

Ant and Dec have gone from Byker Grove via Top of The Pops to Most Popular Entertainment Presenters for the last 18 years.

The people’s favourites could do no wrong, and even in 2017 when Ant entered rehab after admitting abuse of prescription drugs and alcohol, he bounced back to present I’m A Celebrity, making jokes at his own expense.
 
However, Ant has now announced he is divorcing his wife Lisa who he has been with for 23 years, married for 11. If they are sensible, they will resolve matters in mediation, behind closed doors. If they fight things through the court, not only will it be time consuming and expensive (perhaps not an issue here) but litigation raises temperatures and the risk of acrimony and washing one’s linen in public becomes a real risk.
 
The media are reporting huge settlement sums for Lisa which can only be guesswork but the principle of an equal division of the family assets is a starting point for everyone going through divorce with justification needed for a departure from equality.
 
There is speculation that Lisa could claim a share of Ant’s future earnings and this is based on the case of the ex Arsenal player, Ray Parlour. In 2004 his former wife was awarded one third of his future earnings but she is the mother of 3 of his children and the payments were because income far exceeded what they needed to live on and there was insufficient capital to buy a clean break. In this case, I doubt capital is an issue and since 2004 the courts have moved a long way from maintenance for wives, expecting self-sufficiency at some point in the future. How far is Ant prepared to defend this claim? It would need him to argue that they are childless, a very sore subject as it is reported a child was longed for. This would not endear him to many who have faced similar fertility issues.
 
Another argument being aired is that of Ant’s contribution to the assets of the marriage being “stellar”. Some judges have referred to a special contribution as needing to possess the “quality of genius”. However, an American financier had this argument rejected by the court in 2017, when the judge in his case said ”the word genius tends to be overused and is properly reserved for Leonardo Da Vinci, Mozart, Einstein and others like them." Ant and Dec are good at what they do, but is tv presenting the work of a genius? If Ant argues this, will he alienate himself from the public?
 
As Ant and Lisa are having to deal with the media scrutinising every move they make and making wild guesses of how their legal team will present their case then it is going to be a tough year. Divorce is never easy, no matter how much money there is. At ThomasHaywood we advise you on the best way forward for you.
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