Last month, after watching the popular television show, “Dr Foster”, we published a blog reflecting upon the impact that warring parents’ behaviour can have upon their children.
Whilst various aspects of the series’ storyline have strained credibility, our knowledge as a family lawyers had us raising questions about the finances of the main character and her ex-husband throughout the series.
In the early stages of the series, we were told that the couple had divorced. As the ex-husband was arranging for the former family home to be valued, it appeared that either the financial matters were never resolved at the time of the divorce or, alternatively, he may have retained an interest in the home, before his son Tom had completed his education and hence no longer required a home base there. Could this have been the ex-husband’s motivation for getting his son to move to his new luxurious abode?
We have also thought about what the terms of any original financial settlement might have been. Did the ex-husband secure a payment in relation to his wife’s interest in the medical practice (which could have a significant value) and/or did he receive a share in her NHS pension? Pensions are often an important issue in cases where a medical professional is getting divorced.
If the finances were not dealt with at the time of the divorce, to what extent would the ex-husband’s new-found wealth be of significance, given that it has arisen following the separation and divorce of the couple? These are all interesting points for a family lawyer.
Returning to the real world, if you or a friend or a member of your family are facing a divorce or separation, it is usually preferable for the financial issues to be assessed at the earliest opportunity.