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.