The lessons to learn from the breakdown of a relationship

 
 

Every so often, a case appears in the paper and the best London divorce solicitors feel the need to post a blog about it. The case of Mandy Grey and Hamish Hurley is one such case. Why? Well, the case involves many aspects of family law. From freedom of the press and family law reporting, international jurisdiction, financial settlement on divorce, cohabiting relationships to accusations of domestic abuse. However, it is not just the fact that litigation has started that is of interest to the top London divorce solicitors but the potential opportunities to warn others of the steps that they can take to avoid the London family court.

 
The Daily Mail reports that Hamish Hurley, the former cohabitee of Mandy Grey, is now pursuing her for £20 million of assets. Mandy Grey is said to have received a £90m divorcee financial settlement from her former husband.
 
The paper takes a traditional take on the case, referring to Mandy Grey’s reported adultery during her first marriage and referring to Hamish Hurley as the 'gold-digger' ex-lover who is seeking to capitalise on Mandy Grey’s £90 million divorce financial settlement.
 
The top London divorce solicitors think that, even at this early stage of the court proceedings between Mandy Grey and Hamish Hurley there are lessons to be learnt for other couples who are either coming out of marriages with divorce financial settlements or starting cohabiting relationships.
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
If you need legal advice on the breakdown of a cohabiting or married relationship or your civil partnership or need advice on a relationship agreement then OTS Solicitors’ divorce and family finance team can help you.
 
For a confidential discussion on how the family law team at OTS Solicitors can help you please call us on 0203 959 9123.
 

The lessons 

 

1. Arbitration

 

The top London divorce solicitors think that perhaps the first lesson to learn from the case of Mandy Grey and Hamish Hurley is the option of using a family arbitrator to settle a family law dispute. 
 
The advantage of using a family law arbitrator is discretion and confidentiality. Unless the parties to the family law dispute agree on information being passed to the media, family arbitration is confidential. That is because the press cannot attend arbitration hearings unless both parties agree to them doing so.
 
Discretion and confidentiality is not the only major advantage of arbitration. Family arbitration can be quicker than using traditional court proceedings. The arbitrator is a bit like a private judge, and therefore may have more availability and flexibility than a traditional family court.
 

2. divorce financial settlements and relationship agreements 

 
The best London divorce solicitors do not know what financial and legal advice Mandy Grey received after she received her £90 million financial settlement from her first husband.
 
It is however reported that over the course of a six-year relationship with Hamish Hurley the couple travelled the world, enjoyed an “international lifestyle” and during their time together purchased an Italian property as well as four luxury supercars. The cars alone are said to be worth a few million.
 
Some of the assets bought over the course of the relationship were bought in the name of a company that is said to be under the control of Hamish Hurley. Other assets were put in his name. The case centres on Mandy Grey saying that the assets belong to her and Hamish Hurley saying that they are jointly owned.
 
Whatever the rights and wrongs in the case of Mandy Grey and Hamish Hurley, and to a large extent the facts and specific supercar details do not really matter, the reality is that if you are coming out of a marriage and you have received a large financial settlement it can pay to take financial and legal advice.
 
A top London divorce solicitor can talk to you about the option of signing different types of relationship agreement, such as:
 
• A cohabitation agreement;
• A declaration of trust document over a specific asset or property;
• A prenuptial agreement.
 
In some situations, people do not want to think about signing a relationship agreement after having recently finalised divorce proceedings and having received a financial settlement. The thinking is often that the same thing will not happen again. Others are far more wary of any form of future relationship and take persuasion that a relationship agreement can provide protection so that you can move on with your life and form new relationships.
 
Even if you do decide that you do not want to sign a relationship agreement there is advice that financial and top London divorce solicitors can give to try to safeguard assets on divorce legal advice.
 

3. International families and court jurisdiction

 

Mr Hurley and Mandy Grey reportedly met in Chelsea, London and over the course of their six year relationship enjoyed an international lifestyle jetting across the world and purchasing various properties. At the end of their relationship, Hamish Hurley returned to his native New Zealand.
 
It is Mandy Grey’s case that the family court in England should decide on the extent of Hamish Hurley’s claims. Mr Hurley argues that the New Zealand court should have jurisdiction. The court in London has not yet reached a decision on which country will have jurisdiction to hear the claims and arguments.
 
The best London divorce solicitors say that as families are increasingly mobile with international connections, it is important to consider potential court jurisdictions if a marriage or relationship breaks down as the country in which a financial or property claim is heard can make a massive difference to the outcome of the case and the size of any financial settlement. 
 
Take the case of London; the English capital is renowned as having a family court that is generous to the economically weaker spouse. However, if you are a cohabitee bringing a financial or property claim in London you may get a lot less from an English court than you may would in another court jurisdiction. 
 
That is why the top London divorce solicitors say that if you are contemplating a new relationship and the signing of a cohabitation agreement or prenuptial agreement, you should take advice on court jurisdiction. If there is a preferred country to decide on any future claims, the country should be recorded in the relationship agreement. 
 

4. Social media and family law

 
In the case of Mandy Grey and Hamish Hurley, it is being asserted that Mr Hurley was controlling and manipulated Mandy Grey during the relationship. Those allegations are completing denied by Hamish Hurley. He said Mandy Grey was rewriting the relationship.
 
The top London divorce solicitors can recall the days when who said what and when was a matter of recall. With human memory not being perfect, it was sometimes hard for a judge to pace reliance on what was said and when during a relationship. Fast forward to 2019, and in a digital era with so many forms of social media, the couple’s texts, messenger and WhatsApp can all be examined. The best London divorce solicitors therefore always urge caution on what is posted on social media and messaged. Things said, in the heat of the moment, can resurface in court proceedings. 
 
The top London divorce solicitors recommend that you take specialist legal advice on relationship agreements and wealth protection measures on how to protect yourself and your family if you are contemplating a new married or cohabiting relationship.
 

How can OTS Solicitors help? 

 
If you need legal advice on the breakdown of a cohabiting or married relationship or the ending of your civil partnership or if you need advice on the preparation of a relationship agreement then OTS Solicitors’ divorce and family finance team can help you.
 
For a confidential discussion on how the London based family law team at OTS Solicitors can help you please call us on 0203 959 9123.
 

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