20% of divorcing couples fight over small items of property

Sadly most divorce solicitors are all too familiar with divorcing couples who refuse to follow the usually highly sensible advice from lawyers and choose instead to battle over each and every family asset, no matter how small. The most ludicrous example of such behaviour that I have personally come across, was a colleague of mine, some years ago, who had a client who insisted on correspondence being written to the other side arguing he should be entitled to possession of the hubcaps to the Porsche – yes, you read that correctly, the hubcaps!

It was therefore of no particular surprise that research carried out by Manchester law firm, Pannone, discovered that around one fifth of every divorce was plagued with unnecessary arguments about inexpensive items. The research found that this was not limited to couples with limited assets – the research includes an example of a seven figure financial settlement that was delayed by an argument over a minor item costing just pounds. Amongst the more trivial causes of such arguments according to thisresearch were vacuum cleaners, Tesco Clubcard points, cutlery – not to mention the family goldfish. The only losers in such arguments are the divorcing couple themselves– not only does it cause them unnecessary distress, it’s also likely to delay a settlement and ultimately increases legal costs, reducing the amount of family assets available for distribution on divorce.

We are committed to both collaborative law and family mediation as sensible ways to resolve financial issues between divorcing couples. Our family lawyers strongly emphasise the need for working together towards a solution rather than battling for every last pound – especially when children are involved. However, as this research so clearly shows, you can’t always lead a horse to drink.