Benchslaps, Divorce Train Wrecks, Money, Unemployment, United Kingdom / Great Britain, Vicious Infighting

Abandon The Wedding Ship — And Then Set Fire to the Lifeboats!

Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us together todaaay.

Today we have news about the marriage of a lawyerly power couple, or at least news about the charred, tattered remnants of what the marriage once was. This extraordinarily dysfunctional ex-couple got chastised by a judge for nuking not only their sacred union but most of their considerable wealth in the process.

We know all’s fair in love and war. I guess that includes seppuku, but I’m not sure it’s really the most effective strategy…

Judge Clive Million upbraided attorneys — sorry, solicitors — Anna-Marie Harvey Kavanagh and her ex-husband Giles Kavanagh, a partner at Holman Fenwick Willan, earlier this week for spending “almost all their assets in litigation.” Oy! Check out his very British Benchslap, from the Telegraph:

The couple were criticised for “wrecking the ship of their marriage, then turning their attention to the lifeboats.”

“The ship of marriage may founder, but this couple have driven theirs full tilt onto the rocks,” he said.

In the words of the dude who works at the diner in Old School: “Love. It’s a mother f**ker.”

So, how did these two angry birds spend so much on a divorce? The short version is: five years of litigation over their three children, property, and finances. Before splitting, the couple lived in a £3.2m seven-bedroom in the Surrey countryside (this, for Americans like me who don’t know where Surrey is.) Despite earning close to half a million pounds per year, Kavanaugh was left with “net debts,” and Ms. Kavanaugh with a grand total of £90,000 after costs surrounding the sale of the home and everything else:

“By 2008 they had spent over £879,000 on legal costs and contested proceedings. Children Act proceedings had cost about £545,000. The financial proceedings cost over £303,000 and Family Law Act applications cost another £32,000. The disputes and costs have gone on,” Judge Million had said in his County Court judgment delivered last December.

The couple was back in court this week squabbling about child support payments. Currently, Kavanaugh pays £48,000 per year. His wife wanted the amount increased to between £66,000 and £80,000, but the judge didn’t go for it.

It seems like the lovers’ quarrel feud arms race total armageddon has already gone on long enough. No one is winning here. Maybe it’s time for the ex-pair to agree to disagree, despise each other forever, and never speak again. At this point, I doubt the kids would even care.

Judge criticises warring couple for squandering £1.7 million on bitter divorce battle [The Telegraph]

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12 Responses to “Abandon The Wedding Ship — And Then Set Fire to the Lifeboats!”

  1. Solicitor says:

    I suggest they appeal this to Judge Billion.

  2. Guest says:

    Divorce drama like this happens all the time in the United States with endless appeals and squabling over alimony and child support for decades, but 99% of the time it involves the very rich and the very poor (or like this case, the very rich can become the very poor).  The very rich have the money to pay attorneys to fight and fight and fight.  The very poor have a lot of time on their hands and don’t care if they miss a few shifts at their minimum wage job (if they are employed at all).

    On the other hand, the middle class folks involved in divorce cases don’t want to spend everything they have on an attorney just for spite, and they are too busy working to waste their time and energy fighting for no good reason.

    • Dre says:

      The preceding announcement has been brought to you by new and improved broad sweeping generalizations.  Now 100% free of factual analysis and pesky data.

      • OneBiteFreeTort says:

        Were you expecting a specific example of a divorcing couple fighting over: (1) possession of the $20 sunbeam toaster and Jack LaLane juicer, (2) who gets full-time custody of Mittens the cat, and (3) who gets stuck with the credit card charges from that time they went to Vegas to rekindle their love, but instead ended up in a major fight and trashing the $400/night hotel room?

      • Guest says:

        The announcement is based on ten years of experience in a state court of appeals, having seen rich people still litigating 30 years post-judgment, poor people fighting 12 years post judgment, and the occasional middle class person filing just one appeal from the divorce judgment and then moving on with life.

        “Dre” is either a law student or doesn’t do any appellate practice.

    • MittensR says:

      47% of the population wants palimony. Ironically palimony is more taxable from an income tax perspective than all my earnings in the last 10 years.

  3. Hou_Hater says:

    She could’ve avoided this shitshow had she put out more

  4. robertmeerdahl says:

    i feel bad for the kids

    • Guest says:

      Sadly, each one of the parents is either (a) convinced that he or she is in the right and doing this on principle; or (b) don’t give a damn about the kids except to the extent the kids can be used as a weapon against the other spouse.

  5. Guest says:

    The house was probably overleveraged.  Their best bet is if the Bank of England prints money, thus devaluing their net debts.  It’s easier to make payments with monopoly money than with real asset-backed currency. Why do you think Helicopter Ben continues to sign up for 30 year mortgages at his age?

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