Sunday, May 27, 2007

Divorce: Appreciating what we got in Indiana

I know divorce seldom seems like a good thing rather than a necessity. Even rarer that we can say that Indiana is a more liberal place than say England. Reading the London Sunday Times on May 27 left me thinking that I was happier with Indiana's divorce laws than I would be England's.

From what I read (and I excerpt below), England does not have Indiana's presumption of a 50-50 division of property. I doubt Indiana's department of tourism wants to highlight this difference, but that is okay. It does point out that the law changes from place to place.

The wife who secured the biggest divorce award in British legal history backed the Court of Appeal judges over the need for prenuptial agreements.

Beverley Charman, 54, told The Times: “I would definitely have one now and I would advise my sons to have them. But at the time we married we had no expectation of money.”

And while she may have secured a £48 million divorce settlement, Mrs Charman was not celebrating after her victory yesterday. Speaking at the offices of Manches, her lawyers in London, she said: “I am just relieved it is all over. Of course I am pleased with the result but it has been an incredibly difficult and painful 3½ years.”


She also conceded that her former husband should have the larger share. “He made a contribution that was greater than mine, which was why I conceded that he retain more of the assets which we built up together.”

The issue, however, was how those assets be apportioned. The reason she says that she rejected his £20 million offer was that it was based on the law before the landmark ruling in White v White in 2000, which created the “equality” principle.

“I was advised that if I had accepted that, it would be turning back the clock to when the courts decided on the basis of need, rather than reflecting the different roles that we both had within the marriage of nearly 28 years,” she said.

The article has some reader commentary at the end, too. In case you missed the link to the entire article, click here.

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